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DeSantis Names More Key Hires to His Executive Office

January 2, 2019 - 1:00pm

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis on Wednesday named four additions to the Executive Office of the Governor. These key hires include Chris Spencer, who will join the administration as policy director; Justin Caporale as director of external affairs; and Amanda Emmons and Makenzi Mahler as director of scheduling and director of appointments, respectively.

“This team of qualified, dedicated and talented individuals will help us deliver on the issues that matter most to Floridians, from economic growth to water quality and more,” said DeSantis in a written statement. "I'm proud to announce their service to our state and I have every confidence in their commitment to the people of Florida."

Chris Spencer, policy director

Spencer most recently helped manage Transition Advisory Committee efforts for Governor-elect DeSantis. With experience in both chambers of the Florida Legislature, Spencer brings a wealth of policy and procedural experience to the new administration. A former chief legislative assistant in the Florida Senate, Spencer helped to manage the legislative office of Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

Justin Caporale, director of external affairs

Caporale is an experienced advance and operations professional with an extensive background in developing the strategy and overseeing the management of political events and advocacy campaigns. Justin worked as a senior advance and operations lead throughout the 2016 Donald J. Trump for President campaign before serving in the White House as a special assistant to the president and the director of operations for the East Wing. Justin previously served as the director of operations and chief of staff for Concerned Veterans for America and most recently worked as director of advance for the Ron DeSantis for Governor campaign before serving in his current role as executive director of the DeSantis-Nuñez Inauguration.

Amanda Emmons, director of scheduling

Amanda Emmons previously served in the governor-elect’s Transition as the director of scheduling, a role she also held throughout the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign. Prior to her role in the campaign, Emmons worked as a staff assistant to Sen. Marco Rubio, where she was a grant and intern coordinator for the senator's office.

Makenzi Mahler, director of appointments

Currently serving as deputy director of recruiting for the Transition, Mahler served as deputy finance director for the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign. Before joining the campaign, she spent more than three years at the Republican Party of Florida where she worked on strategic initiatives and in finance for the House Majority effort. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University, earning a B.S. in political science.

“This is a talented group of individuals who have demonstrated the aptitude to serve not only the governor-elect, but the people of Florida with distinction," said Susie Wiles, executive director of the DeSantis-Nuñez Transition.

The staff will begin their work together Jan. 9, immediately after Gov. DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Nuñez take their oaths of office.

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