Chafee staffs up in communications officeJuly 5th, 2013 at 3:04 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
By Dan McGowan
R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee has added four new employees to his communications office as his chief speechwriter prepares to depart for law school, the governor’s office announced Friday.
Christian Vareika, Chafee’s deputy communications director, is leaving the governor’s payroll in August to attend Boston College Law School, according to communications director Christine Hunsinger. Communications associate James Alvarez is also leaving the office and joining the U.S. Army.
Replacing Vareika is Faye Zuckerman, the longtime Providence Journal scribe who most recently served as communications director of Rhode Island Housing. Zukcerman will earn $75,153 in her first year on the job, Hunsinger said.
Zuckerman will be joined by former journalist Alexander Heffner, who will serve as the governor’s $65,156 new media associate. The office also added Kyrie Perry and Nancy Lavin, who will each earn $31,758 as communications associates.
Chafee, the former Republican U.S. senator, joined the Democratic Party earlier this year and is widely expected to run for re-election in 2014 despite low polling numbers. He will likely face a primary challenge from General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.
Chafee’s office also announced that former chief of staff Jamia McDonald will serve as executive director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. McDonald, who had been overseeing the organization since April, will earn $133,112 in her new role.
Jonathan Stevens, Chafee’s former assistant for special projects, has been promoted to senior advisor and director of special projects. Stevens is slated to earn $160,628.