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The Common Council Executive Committee will meet in closed session Nov. 3 to interview final candidates for a new chief of staff position. 

 

PHOTO BY MICHELLE STOCKER

Madison City Council President Marsha Rummel announced four finalists for the body's first ever chief of staff position Tuesday.

The new post's job description includes supervising the council’s three staff members, developing staff and program level strategies, setting priorities and supporting alders over a five-year term. Annual salary for the job is budgeted between $94,365 and $127,391.

The four finalists include Jim Bohl of Milwaukee, Melanie Conklin and Astra Iheukumere, both from Madison, and Kwasi Obeng of Chicago.

"The four finalists embody a thorough knowledge, skill set and passion for public service and demonstrate the ability to engage with policy makers, staff and community members,” Rummel said. “I am pleased with the slate of candidates that have been put forward for final review by the Executive Committee."

Bohl is currently a member of Milwaukee’s City Council and a commissioner on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Previously, he taught English and math in the Milwaukee Public School District and served as a congressional aide to former U.S. Rep. Tom Barrett, currently the mayor of Milwaukee. Bohl is also enrolled in the Public Administration Certification Program at UW-Milwaukee.

Conklin worked for U.S. Representative Mark Pocan as the district outreach and external relations coordinator since 2015 before starting work at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin last month. Her local government experience includes working in communications for Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and as an assistant to former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.

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She has also worked for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee, state Rep. Peter Barca, Tom Barrett's gubernatorial campaign, Isthmus and the Wisconsin State Journal.

Iheukumere is currently the assistant director for Community Networks and National Partnership with UW-Madison’s Population Health Institute. She previously worked as an assistant to Mayor Paul Soglin, an outreach coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and as a Medicaid benefit and fiscal policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Obeng is currently a chief performance analyst with Chicago’s Inspector General Office. He previously worked as a senior performance auditor for the city of Atlanta Auditor's Office, a social services administrator State of Georgia Department of Family and Children Services and interned at the Department of Public Affairs at the United Nations.

The Common Council Executive Committee will meet in closed session Nov. 3 to interview the final candidates.

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.