Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has nominated and appointed at least five Penn affiliates to his administration.
Shapiro, who was inaugurated Jan. 17, selected nominees and appointees across the political spectrum for 24 departments and multiple positions within his executive staff. Penn affiliates have been tapped for a variety of roles in Shapiro’s administration.
Several Penn community members had previously been selected to serve on Shapiro's transition advisory committees.
Valerie Arkoosh, Nominee for Secretary of Human Services
Shapiro announced Valerie Arkoosh’s nomination as secretary of human services on Jan. 11 and appointed her on Jan. 17. Arkoosh was previously a professor of clinical anesthesiology, clinical obstetrics, and gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine from 2004 to 2015.
“As an obstetric anesthesiologist, I worked with so many parents and families who needed a grocery store in their neighborhood as much or more than they needed a doctor,” Arkoosh wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “My goals are to ensure vulnerable people across the commonwealth have the support they need and that everyone has access to resources in their community so that they can be healthy, safe, and thrive.”
Specifically, she added that her education and career, including her time as a Penn professor, “laid a foundation of providing data and science-driven solutions while focusing on clear communication and transparency with people.”
This is not Arkoosh’s first time working with Shapiro — they served on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners together for two years prior to Shapiro’s election as Pennsylvania Attorney General. Eventually, she succeeded him as commissioner in 2015, governing the third-largest county in Pennsylvania.
“I am deeply honored to be working with him again and look forward to advancing the governor’s vision of quality health care and a social safety net that is there for Pennsylvanians in times of need,” Arkoosh wrote.
Sarah Hammer, Nominee for Secretary of Banking and Securities
Shapiro nominated University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School adjunct professor Sarah Hammer, who received her MBA from the Wharton School in 1999 and her JD from the Penn Carey Law in 2011, as his Secretary of Banking and Securities on Jan. 12, The Associated Press reported.
Prior to her nomination, Hammer was the managing director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance and senior director of the Harris Alternative Investments Program at Wharton, where she focused on financial technology and private equity. She also held multiple roles in the United States Department of the Treasury, including Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions.
Khalid Mumin, Nominee for Secretary of Education
Khalid Mumin, a 2008 graduate of the Graduate School of Education, was announced to be Shapiro’s nominee for Secretary of Education on Jan. 9.
“For over 25 years, I have served as a teacher, dean of students, principal, and school superintendent — and I know firsthand what it takes to move our education system forward,” Mumin wrote in a letter to Lower Merion School District in Montgomery County, Pa., where he took on the role of superintendent in 2021.
“I look forward to working with the Gov.-elect to fully fund our schools, make our students’ mental health a priority, and empower parents and guardians to ensure their children receive a quality education,” Mumin wrote.
Mumin was previously the superintendent of Reading School District in Reading, Pa. for seven years, according to WHYY. He was also an instructor at both Penn State University and his alma mater, Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa.
Akbar Hossain, Secretary of Policy and Planning
Shapiro appointed Akbar Hossain, a 2018 Penn Carey Law graduate, as Secretary of Policy and Planning on Jan. 4. Hossain has worked with Shapiro since 2021, first as the policy director during the Shapiro for Pennsylvania campaign, then as executive director of the transition team.
Joseph Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff for Adminstration and Opportunity
Joseph Lee — who received a Master's of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government in 2017 — was appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration and Opportunity on Dec. 30, according to PoliticsPA. Previously, he was Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.