Burchett to Step Down; Governor Announces Lannoye as Chief of Staff

Contact: Heidi Watson 517-335-6397

December 13, 2006

LANSING - John Burchett, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's chief of staff, announced today that he will be stepping down from the position on January 1.  Burchett was named chief of staff in September 2005 following his tenure as director of Granholm's Washington D.C. office.

"I came to Lansing to help the Governor direct government through what we knew would be a year of great challenge and great opportunity," said Burchett.  "Now that we've successfully navigated those waters and achieved nearly everything we set out to do 15 months ago, I'm ready to return home to Washington D.C. and move on to a new challenge."

The Governor named Mary A. Lannoye her new chief of staff effective January 1. 

During Burchett's tenure, the Governor introduced her Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow economic plan, and he oversaw the implementation of its major elements, including a $2 billion fund for diversification and job creation; the Merit Promise scholarship to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend college; the introduction of the Michigan First Health Care plan to provide universal access to affordable health care; and the implementation of the Jobs Today program to accelerate road and bridge projects and create jobs.  

"This has been a wonderful experience for me.  I have had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people in the Governor's office and in the Cabinet," said Burchett.  "Their excellence and dedication to the people of Michigan has been inspiring every day."

"John managed a remarkable moment in Michigan history," said Governor Granholm.  "Thanks to his steady leadership, his wise counsel and his expert management, Michigan now has the tools it needs to be an economic powerhouse in the future.  Though I knew John intended for his tenure to be short-lived, it will be no less painful to see him leave our team."

Mary Lannoye currently serves as the state's budget director and is the longest-serving member of the Governor's Cabinet.  Under Lannoye's leadership, the state has successfully resolved nearly $4 billion in budget deficits and cut nearly $3 billion in spending.  At the same time, Michigan has invested in the things that matter most to the people of this state.

Lannoye also served in the Engler administration from 1998 until she resigned as budget director in 2001.  From 2001 until her appointment to serve in the Granholm administration, she was a principal at Health Management Associates, advising clients in public sector finance and governmental relations.  She served as budget director for Wayne County from 1987 to 1991.  In addition to her nearly 15 years of state government management experience, she managed and directed various budgets and departments in Ingham county government.

"Mary is a brilliant, tough, straight-forward leader who's highly regarded and highly respected by state departments, by the Legislature, by her staff and by mine," said Governor Granholm.  "She knows the details of this administration and its priorities intimately and can hit the ground running to keep our agenda rolling."

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