Governor-Elect Dan Malloy’s choice to lead the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), Ben Barnes, today named members of the agency’s senior staff. Mark Ojakian will join the staff as the Deputy Secretary of OPM; Gian-Carl Casa will be Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs; Anne Foley will be Undersecretary for Policy Development and Planning; and State Representative Mike Lawlor will be Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning.
“I’m grateful that these public servants have agreed to join my staff at such a critical juncture in our state’s history,” said Barnes. “I’m going to look to Mark, Gian-Carl, Anne and Mike to provide advice and execution as Governor-Elect Malloy works to put together a budget which is representative of the values and priorities we have as a state, as well as the shared sacrifice we’ll all have to make to get our state back on track again. Looking beyond the budget process over the next few months, I expect these talented individuals to play key roles in our efforts to re-make Connecticut’s state government in a sustained and systematic way.”
Mark Ojakian was appointed Deputy State Comptroller of Connecticut in January of 1995, where he serves as a senior policy and political advisor to State Comptroller Nancy Wyman. In addition to having administrative responsibility over a constitutional office of over 250 employees and fiscal responsibility for over $1 billion in state accounts, Ojakian has served on a variety of boards and commissions. He has also been an integral part of several large public policy initiatives over the last fourteen years, including programs that ensure medical coverage to uninsured children and extend affordable insurance coverage to municipalities, not-for-profit organizations and small businesses. Besides his duties as Deputy Comptroller, Mark also has served two different times as the Acting Director of the Retirement Services Division. Mark received a BA in History from St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1975 and a MA in International Relations from the American University, Washington, DC in 1977. Mark and his spouse Jason Veretto reside in West Hartford. Mark has two children, Brandon and Kyle, and two grandchildren, Connor and Madison.
Currently, Gian-Carl Casa is Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM). In this capacity he manages CCM’s policy development and advocacy program for the many issue areas that affect cities and towns, with particular expertise in intergovernmental finance, transportation, and environmental management. Casa has been with CCM since 1983 and has led CCM’s advocacy team in many successful legislative initiatives. Casa has also represented municipalities on numerous state task forces and commissions, and before state agencies. He has a BA and an MA in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Casa resides in Hamden.
Anne Foley is a 23-year veteran employee of OPM. She has served as Senior Policy Advisor to the past three OPM Secretaries, specializing in health and human services policy. As Senior Policy Advisor, Foley provides information and analysis that the Secretary uses to formulate public policy goals for the state, prepare the Governor’s budget proposal, and implement and monitor the execution of the budget as adopted by the General Assembly. Foley was an adjunct faculty lecturer for 16 years at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She received her B.A. in Social Work from Providence College in 1983, an M.S.W. degree in Policy and Planning from the University of Connecticut in 1987, and an M.A. degree in Social Policy from Brandeis University in 2001. She resides in West Hartford with her husband, Tom Farrell, and her two step-children.
State Representative Mike Lawlor, who will step down from his elected seat before being sworn in for another term, is a tenured Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven. He has been a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives since 1987, where he served as co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee for 16 years. Prior to serving in the legislature, Lawlor was a prosecutor in the New Haven State’s Attorney’s office. Lawlor has worked as a consultant for the U. S. Department of Justice, and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Council of State Governments Justice Center. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. He holds a master’s degree from the University of London and a law degree from the George Washington University School of Law.