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Cabinet Appointees
Sarah Shipman Website

Sarah Shipman, Secretary of Administration

Sarah brings an extensive legal career in the public and private sector to the office of Secretary. She served as Chief Counsel from January 2013 through July 2015 and also held the title of Deputy Secretary since March 2014. She was deputy director for leasing and real estate for the Department of Administration from October 2011 through January 2013. In the private sector, Sarah was vice president and counsel for Silver Lake Bank in Topeka from May 2008 until October 2011. She also was an adjunct faculty member at the Washburn University School of Law from 2011 to 2013. From August 2005 to May 2008 she was associate general counsel for MRV, Inc., in Topeka handling commercial real estate. Sarah graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield in May 1995 and Washburn Law in May 2005 where she was editor of the Washburn Law Journal. She is married to Scott and they have two children. Sarah is a member of the Kansas Bar Association and active in the Girl Scouts.




Official photo of Antonio Soave

Antonio Soave, Secretary of Commerce

Antonio Soave is a loyal Kansan and entrepreneur. For 30 years, Soave has gained the education and experience necessary to lead the Department of Commerce. As the former President and CEO of Capistrano Global Advisory Services, Soave has helped numerous entrepreneurs and businesses to expand and grow. Soave has also founded and served on the boards of several philanthropic organizations around the world. His extensive education, including a Bachelor’s degree in international studies from The American University in Washington, D.C., a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University and a Masters of Law in International Law from the University of San Diego, as well as his experience in both domestic and international business, make Soave an exceptional choice for Secretary of Commerce. 




Photo of Nick Jordan, Secretary of Revenue

Nick Jordan, Secretary of Revenue

Former state Sen. Nick Jordan brings an extensive list of business and public service experiences to his role as Secretary of Revenue.  Jordan became known as a “go-to guy” for economic development and taxation legislation during his 13 years in the Kansas Senate.  He played a significant role in writing and implementing key economic growth and tax policies, including co-authoring the Kansas Economic Growth Act that created the Kansas Bioscience Authority and the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship.  As a successful business owner, Jordan knows firsthand the impact tax policy made by the Legislature and Governor has on Kansas businesses.



Richard Carlson Photo 2016

Richard Carlson, Acting Secretary of Transportation 

Former legislator Richard Carlson was named Interim Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority by Gov. Sam Brownback effective July 15, 2016. The St. Marys native had been Legislative Liaison and Tax Policy Adviser for the Kansas Department of Revenue since December 2014. Interim Secretary Carlson served in the Kansas House of Representatives for 10 years beginning in 2004, representing the 61st District of Pottawatomie County and northern Wabaunsee County. He was Chairman of the House Taxation Committee for six years and also a member of the Appropriations Committee and Commerce and Labor Committee. He was a Pottawatomie County Commissioner for 12 years before being elected to the Legislature. An economics and business graduate of Kansas State University, Secretary Carlson served in the Kansas Army National Guard and is a graduate of the Kansas Leadership program. He also served on the board of the Flint Hills Regional Leadership Program.




Cabinet Photo of Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey

Jackie McClaskey, Secretary of Agriculture

Jackie McClaskey, a lifelong Kansan with roots deep in agriculture, is dedicated to serving the Kansas agriculture industry and is personally committed to helping develop opportunities to grow the state’s diverse agricultural economy. Prior to coming to the Department of Agriculture, McClaskey served as an assistant dean for the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University for 13 years.



Photo of Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, Kansas Adjutant General, Director of Homeland Security and Director of Emergency Management

Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, Kansas Adjutant General, Director of Kansas Homeland Security and Director of Emergency Management 

Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli has served in the Kanas Army National Guard (KSARNG) for more than 30 years in numerous command and staff assignments, including deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a battalion commander.  He also has been directly involved in the Guard's emergency response to natural disasters.  As the adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Tafanelli oversees the activities of the Adjutant General’s Department. This includes providing personnel administration and training guidance for over 7,700 soldiers and airmen in the Kansas Army and Air National Guard. As the director of Kansas Emergency Management, a division of the Department, he is guiding a small professional core of personnel that prepare for and respond to disasters. In addition to the part-time soldiers and airmen, the Department he leads includes about 2,300 full-time State and Federal employees. Additionally, 105 county emergency managers and their staff receive guidance and training through the Department. Major General Tafanelli is also the Director of Homeland Security for Kansas, where he works to ensure security in the state is a top priority. For budgetary and administrative purposes, he is responsible for the Civil Air Patrol.



Official photo of Maj. Mark Bruce

Colonel Mark Bruce, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol

Colonel Mark Bruce is a career Kansas State Trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol. He joined the Patrol in June of 1989, following in his father’s footsteps. Throughout his career, he has served in the Riley, Linn, and Shawnee county areas.  He has overseen a number of sections of the Patrol’s operations. In his time with the Patrol, he has supervised field operations, Central Communications, Public & Governmental Affairs, Homeland Security, Emergency Operations, the KHP Training Academy, and Human Resources. Bruce is originally from Girard. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Barton County Community College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Washburn University. Bruce served in the Kansas Air National Guard from 1985 to 1994, attaining the rank of technical sergeant in law enforcement.




Photo of Lana Gordon, Interim Secretary of Labor

Lana Gordon, Secretary of Labor

As a former small business owner, Lana Gordon knows firsthand about the challenges and rewards of running a business.  Prior to joining the Brownback Administration,  Secretary Gordon represented the 52nd Kansas House District for 12 years.  In the Kansas House, she chaired the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee and House Education Budget Committee.



Official photo of Sec. Susan Mosier


Dr. Susan Mosier, Secretary of Health and Environment

Susan Mosier was confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Health and Environment in April of 2015. She serves as Secretary of KDHE, the Director of the Division of Public Health, the State Health Officer and the Medicaid Director.  Prior to becoming Secretary she was the Director of the Division of Health Care Finance since July 2014 and Medicaid Director at KDHE since March 2012. She was responsible for the implementation of KanCare Medicaid reform, operations and policy development. Prior to taking the role of Medicaid Director, she owned Mosier Eye Care in Manhattan, Kan. and also represented the 67th District in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2011 until February 2012, when she resigned the seat to become Medicaid Director. She earned her bachelor's degree from Kansas State University, and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin, Red McCombs School of Business. She went on to receive her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Kansas and completed her residency at the University of Iowa. 





Photo of Robin Jennison, Secretary of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Robin Jennison, Secretary of Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

Robin Jennison brings more than 22 years of experience of serving in the Kansas Legislature, influencing state policy on behalf of Kansas interests, and promoting the state’s natural assets to expand outdoor recreations. Elected to represent the 117th House District, Robin quickly rose through the ranks, serving as Assistant Majority leader in his second term, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in his third term; before becoming House Majority Leader in his fourth term and then finally, Speaker of the House. As president of Jennison Government Services he has represented businesses, associations, groups and other entities before the state legislature and regulatory agencies of Kansas. Robin is a well-respected and knowledgeable hunter who anchored the Kansas Outdoors Radio Show for four years and assisted Governor-Elect Sam Brownback with the development of the Governor’s Pheasant Hunt. He has been a partner in the Jennison Ranch located near Healy for more than 33 years.



Tim Keck

Timothy Keck, Acting Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Acting Secretary Tim Keck previously served as Deputy Chief Counsel at the Kansas Department for Health and the Environment (KDHE) for four-and-half years. As a member of the leadership team there, he was instrumental in the development and implementation of KanCare and worked closely with KDHE Secretary Susan Mosier on a variety of issues impacting the aging and disability communities.He also worked as chief counsel for the office of Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer. A native of Topeka, Mr. Keck has a Bachelor’s degree from Washburn University and received his Juris Doctor from Washburn University School of Law in 1991. He is a resident of Topeka.



Joe Norwood

Joseph Norwood, Acting Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections

Norwood has more than 30 years of correctional experience and most recently served as the Regional Director, Northeast Region for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Norwood began his career with the Bureau of Prisons in 1984 as a correctional officer at the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kan., and has held increasingly responsible positions across the nation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Accounting from the University of Kansas. He completed the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows Program – Bureau’s Leadership Enhancement in August 2007.

Norwood’s appointment must be confirmed by the Kansas Senate.  



Photo of Phyllis Gilmore, Secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families

Phyllis Gilmore, Secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families

Gilmore is the former Kansas City Metro Region Director for Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS).  Prior to joining SRS, she served as the executive director of the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB), based in Topeka, for more than 11 years. The BSRB licenses and regulates most of the mental health professionals in Kansas. She served as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1994-2000 representing Johnson County. Her private sector experience is primarily within the areas of adoption and health care. Gilmore is a licensed specialist in clinical social work with a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.