Gov. Steve Bullock on Tuesday announced the appointment of Adam Schafer as a senior adviser and director of public engagement.
Schafer, a Billings native, currently is deputy commissioner of securities and insurance and chief of staff to state Auditor Monica Lindeen.
“Adam has a strong work ethic and a proven ability to deliver for the people we service -- the citizens of Montana,” Bullock said. “I look forward to working closely with him to continue our mission of creating jobs and improving educational opportunities, while running the most effective and efficient governor in the country.”
In another move in the governor’s office, Kevin O’Brien said Tuesday he is leaving his job as a deputy chief of staff to Bullock. O’Brien will be moving to Washington, D.C., and in January will become senior adviser to Bullock in his role as the new chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
O’Brien was manager of Bullock’s 2012 campaign for governor. He previously had worked as communications director for Bullock as attorney general, for Sen. Jon Tester and for the Montana Democratic Party.
“Kevin’s been an adviser, confidant and close friend for many years,” Bullock said. “I look forward to working with him in his new capacity and wish him and Anna the best.”
O’Brien said he had been an honor to work with Bullock and serve the people of Montana for most of the past decade.
“While Anna and I are excited about new opportunities, Montana will always be home,” O’Brien said. “I can’t overstate how many opportunities Montana has afforded me and my family, which makes it difficult to leave and bittersweet, but I always know it’s just a plane ride away.”
As senior adviser to Bullock as DGA chair, O’Brien said he will help fulfill the DGA’s mission, which is “helping elect Democratic governors from coast to coast by ensuring they have strong campaign organizations, the ability to communicate a winning campaign message and the resources they need to get across the finish line.”
Schafer, who will make an annual salary of $85,000 in his new job for Bullock, is a 1992 graduate of Billings Senior High School and a 1996 graduate of North Central College in Illinois. He lives in Helena with his wife, Anjenette, and their son, Leo.
Bullock said Schafer will advise him on public policy matters and join a team committed to helping Montanans solve problems they face and effectively navigate state government.
These changes follow one in November when Tim Burton resigned as Bullock’s chief of staff to take a job as executive director of the Montana League of Cities and Towns. Burton had been Bullock’s chief of staff as attorney general.
Tracy Stone Manning took over as Bullock’s new chief of staff then and resigned her job as director of the Department of Environmental Quality. She had been a top aide to Tester and previously was director of the Clark Fork Coalition.