Attorney General-elect Ashley Moody announced Wednesday key staff appointments in her administration: John Guard will serve as chief deputy attorney general; Richard Martin as general counsel; Dan Olson as governmental affairs director; Erica Geiger as director of special projects and initiatives; and Lauren Schenone as director of public affairs. Whitney Ray will continue in his current role as director of communications.
Said Moody in a prepared statement, “I am thankful these talented individuals will be serving in important roles on our team. Together we will work diligently to protect Floridians and remain accountable through transparency and effective communication.”
John Guard, chief deputy attorney general, most recently was a partner at the Quarles & Brady law firm in Tampa. Prior to working at Quarles, Guard served as an assistant United States attorney for the Middle District of Florida. He also served as a federal prosecutor, practiced law at Holland & Knight for seven years, and served as a federal law clerk. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Florida State University and a Juris Doctorate from Tulane University School of Law.
Richard Martin, general counsel, most recently was a partner at the Akerman law firm in Tampa, practicing law for more than 14 years. He also served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida. Martin is a native Floridian from Lakeland and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law.
Dan Olson, governmental affairs director, will oversee legislative and cabinet affairs. Most recently he served as chief operating officer at VISIT FLORIDA. He has also served as chief of staff of the Florida Lottery and held various positions at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Executive Office of the Governor. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and applied economics and a master’s degree in public administration, both from Florida State University.
Erica Geiger, director of special projects and initiatives, will manage projects related to the attorney general-elect's top priorities, including combating the opioid and human trafficking epidemics and coordinating law enforcement support. Geiger previously was the director of political affairs on Ashley Moody’s successful campaign and is currently overseeing operations on the attorney general-elect’s Transition Committee. She also worked at the State Attorney’s office in the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Geiger has a bachelor’s degree in criminology and American sign language from the University of South Florida and a Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.
Lauren Schenone, director of public affairs, will focus on communications and external affairs. Schenone most recently served as Gov. Rick Scott’s press secretary and chief spokesperson for his successful senatorial campaign. She previously held several communications roles for the Executive Office of the Governor and the Republican Party of Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Florida State University.
Whitney Ray, director of communications, is a former member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps. Prior to covering state government and politics in Florida, Ray reported for KNWA, Fox 24 and KFSM in Arkansas. He previously served as press secretary for the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Children and Families. Ray earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Arkansas and a masters of applied American politics and policy from Florida State University.