Snyder picks communications director to replace retiring chief of staff

Gov. Rick Snyder announced on Tuesday the retirement of Dennis Muchmore from his role as chief of staff effective January 2016 and selected current Communications Director Jarrod Agen to transition into the role.

Beth Clement will be named the first cabinet secretary for Snyder in addition to her role as deputy chief of staff.

After January, Muchmore will become a counselor to Snyder and oversee special projects. Muchmore has served as chief of staff since Snyder took office in January 2011 and plans to continue to play a vital role in Michigan’s reinvention, according to a press release.

“Dennis Muchmore has guided this administration throughout our state’s dramatic comeback and his public service towards the betterment of Michigan is to be admired,” Snyder said. “Dennis's gift for creating sound public policy is remarkable and his mark on Michigan will last for decades.”

Agen has been Snyder’s communications director since January 2014 and served as acting director of strategy prior to the arrival of John Walsh. Agen will work closely with Muchmore and Clement during the next several months to ensure a smooth transition in January.

“Jarrod has proven to be an invaluable asset and a trusted leader within our administration," Snyder said. 

Agen has held a number of positions in the federal government, working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He began his career working for MSNBC cable news network. Just prior to joining the Snyder’s office, he served as vice president of marketing and communications for Empowered-U, a Silicon Valley-based technology and education firm. Agen is married to Bettina Inclan, a specialist in public relations and minority outreach. The couple welcomed their first child in June. 

As cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff, Clement will serve as primary coordinator for the Executive Office with the state’s department and agency directors.  She will work in tandem with department and agency directors on budgetary needs, crafting and carrying out public policy, personnel matters, and achieving yearly goals. She is married to Tom Clement, who works in the Attorney General’s Office, and has four children.

Clement has served as deputy chief of staff since March, 2014 and previously served as legal adviser to Snyder, specializing in issues such as emergency management, criminal justice, judicial appointments, labor and public safety.

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