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Illinois Politics

Gov. Pat Quinn Taps Jay Rowell as Director of Illinois Department of Employment Security


(Chicago, IL) – June 6, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn on Friday evening announced several top appointments to state agencies, including Jay Rowell as director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Rowell, who is currently the political director for the Senate President John Cullerton’s Illinois Democratic Senate operation, is a former deputy director in the Chicago City Clerk’s Office and a former aide to State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

A well-liked political operative with 1,213 Facebook friends, Rowell is also an attorney who earned his law degree from Loyola University Law School. He is a former writer for the school’s Consumer Law Review and Public Interest Law Reporter.

Rowell replaces Maureen O’Donnell, who now serves as Director of Human Resources for Cook County. His appointment takes effect today, Monday.

In additional to the Rowell appointment the Governor also announced that Department of Insurance Chief Deputy Director Jack Messmore will serve as the agency’s Acting Director.

Messmore steps into the role following the departure of Michael McRaith, who will become the first director of the United States Federal Insurance Office.

Messmore has been with the agency for 25 years and has previously served as Deputy Director, Assistant Deputy Director and Examiner-in-Charge. Messmore’s appointment is also effective today.

Finally, Quinn also re-apointed Grace Hou as Assistant Secretary for Programs at the Department of Human Services (DHS), a position she has held since 2003.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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