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Simone Marstiller Named New Secretary of Juvenile Justice

January 2, 2019 - 3:30pm

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday the appointment of former First District Court of Appeal judge and former secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Simone Marstiller as secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). 

"Few people have the leadership experience and government expertise to match Simone Marstiller," said DeSantis in his written announcement. "Simone is among the most talented and experienced professionals that our state has to offer and I am proud to have her join the Administration as the secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. She's established an exceptional record of professional accomplishment and I look forward to working with her to further improve our state's juvenile justice system.”

Simone Marstiller, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

Marstiller currently is a counsel with Gunster, Yoakley, Stewart, P.A., where her practice areas include appellate consulting and litigation, government affairs, procurement, ethics and elections. She joined Gunster in 2017 after retiring from the First District Court of Appeal, where she served as a judge for six years.

In 2001, Simone became assistant general counsel to Gov. Jeb Bush, assisting the governor's general counsel in overseeing the legal operations of the governor's agencies. In 2002, She was selected to serve as general counsel for the Department of Management Services (DMS), the administrative agency for state government. There, she managed all legal affairs for the agency, including matters related to government procurement, outsourcing, state facility management and collective bargaining. While serving in this capacity, Bush appointed her interim secretary of the agency.

From DMS, Marstiller returned to the Governor's Office in 2003 to serve as deputy chief of staff. In 2004, Bush appointed her state chief information officer to head state government's central technology planning and policy organization, and in 2005 she became secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the state's largest regulatory agency.

In 2007, Attorney General Bill McCollum appointed her associate deputy attorney general for the State of Florida, during which time she also served as the agency's general counsel. When appointed to the appellate court in 2010, she was serving as executive director for the Florida Elections Commission.

Marstiller was born in Monrovia, Liberia and grew up in St. Petersburg. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1988 from Stetson University in DeLand, and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 1996 from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport.

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