November 7, 2008
Highly Qualified Public Servants Will Help Move Missouri Forward
Governor-elect Jay Nixon Names John Watson Chief of Staff; Announces Leadership of Transition Team
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor-elect Jay Nixon today named Mr. John R. Watson as Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Honorable Charles Burson as Transition Director. The Governor-elect also named three co-chairs of his transition team.
Mr. Watson, who has served in the Attorney General’s Office since 1993 and held the position of Chief of Staff since 1997, will serve as a top advisor in Governor-elect Nixon’s administration, overseeing the operations of the Governor’s office and staff.
“John has been a trusted and valued advisor to me throughout my tenure as Attorney General, and I know he will be an asset to the people of Missouri as chief of staff in my administration,” Governor-elect Nixon said. “John will bring his incredible intellect, keen knowledge of state government, private sector experience and passion for public service to the Governor’s office. Missouri will benefit greatly from John’s service as Chief of Staff.”
Mr. Watson, a Missouri native, earned both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. As Chief of Staff in the Attorney General’s Office, he has overseen all legislative and budgetary matters, as well as policy issues involving public safety, consumer protection, education, health care and government efficiency.
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to serve Missouri as chief of staff to the Governor,” Mr. Watson said. “Over the past 15 years, I’ve come to know Governor-elect Nixon as a highly skilled, dedicated leader. The Governor-elect has a bold agenda to change the direction of Missouri’s economy, and I look forward to helping him turn those ideas into public policies that will make a difference for Missouri families.”
Governor-elect Nixon also named the Hon. Charles W. Burson of St. Louis as Transition Director.
“Governor-elect Nixon has made it clear that he expects an inclusive, smooth and transparent transition that serves the people of Missouri well,” Mr. Burson said. “During this transition process, we’re going to search every region of this state to find the best and brightest minds to help Governor-elect Nixon move Missouri forward. Running the state government is a huge job, and we’re going to make sure Governor-elect Nixon has the best team possible in place to get it done.”
The Governor-elect also named the following Missouri leaders to be co-chairs of his transition team: the Hon. Ronnie L. White of St. Louis; Ms. Nadia T. Cavner of Springfield; and the Hon. Philip Snowden of Kansas City.
“I am proud and honored to have this extremely qualified group of public servants join me in leading this transition process,” Governor-elect Nixon said. “This team reflects a great deal of professional, educational and geographic diversity, and I am confident these leaders will help me move the state in a new direction. During these difficult economic times, I am committed to hitting the ground running on Day One to bring about the change Missouri needs. I look forward to working closely with these great leaders to ensure an efficient, smooth transition and to get Missouri moving forward.”
“Good governors have to be good managers, and Jay Nixon has shown he’s one of the best,” Ms. Cavner said. “During his 16 years as Attorney General, the Governor-elect has run a highly efficient office and provided an incredible return on investment for the taxpayers – saving or generating more than $20 for every $1 appropriated to his office. Governor-elect Nixon will bring a great deal of economic and managerial acumen to the office, and I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve as co-chair of his transition team.”
“Governor-elect Nixon has made it a priority to ensure that folks from all corners of the state, from all walks of life and from all backgrounds are represented in his administration,” Judge White said. “Missouri is a state with incredible diversity, and Governor-elect Nixon will lead an administration that embraces and benefits from that richness. I’m proud to call Governor-elect Nixon my good friend, and I’m even prouder to serve as co-chair of his transition.”
“Having served in both the executive and legislative branches, Governor-elect Nixon is uniquely positioned to lead Missouri forward,” Mr. Snowden said. “During his six years in the State Senate, the Governor-elect showed that he could work across party lines to pass key legislation for Missouri, and as Attorney General, he has managed a large agency with great efficiency and fiscal responsibility. Already, Governor-elect Nixon has reached out to both Republican and Democratic legislative leaders to set the tone for the upcoming session. I’m looking forward to helping the Governor-elect develop a policy agenda that will receive broad, bipartisan support.”