OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
225 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
BIOGRAPHY OF GOVERNOR EDWARD G. RENDELL
Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania’s 45th Governor, began a second term of office on January 16, 2007, following a landslide re-election victory.
As Governor, Rendell serves as chief executive of the nation’s 6th-most-populous state and oversees a $27.5 billion budget.
Governor Rendell’s unprecedented strategic investments have energized Pennsylvania’s economy, revitalized communities, improved
education, protected the environment and expanded access to health care to all children and affordable prescription drugs for older adults. He
championed and signed into law Pennsylvania’s first comprehensive measure to substantially reform the local tax system by providing $1 billion in
urgently needed property tax relief to homeowners.
Governor Rendell is building on his efforts to make government more responsible to the public, and more responsive to the public’s needs. He
has cut wasteful spending and improved efficiency to save more than $1 billion and is pursuing a legislative agenda that includes commonsense
political reforms to put progress ahead of partisanship.
Under Governor Rendell’s leadership, Pennsylvania’s economy has rebounded sharply and continues to expand. Governor Rendell’s economic
stimulus plan is investing more than $2.8 billion to create new jobs and revitalize communities. Today, there are more jobs in Pennsylvania than ever
before, with a net gain of more than 168,000 jobs since 2003. Pennsylvania now ranks 15th in the nation for job growth, up from 41st at the
beginning of Governor Rendell’s first term. And, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has fallen over a full point and continues to be better than, or on
par with, the national average. To ensure that all Pennsylvanians share in the benefits of our growing economy, the Governor successfully
championed the first minimum wage increase in nearly a decade.
Under Governor Rendell, student achievement is on the rise at every grade level and in every subject. Pennsylvania’s public schools now have
the resources to invest in proven education initiatives like pre-kindergarten, full-day kindergarten and tutoring. Pennsylvania has gone from one of
the nine states in the country that failed to fund pre-kindergarten to a national leader in early childhood investment, and for the first time ever more
than half of Pennsylvania kindergartners are in full-day programs.
Governor Rendell is also making Pennsylvania a leader in pursuing energy independence – creating jobs in the emerging alternative energy
economy while developing effective strategies to reduce dependence on foreign oil and save families money.
Governor Rendell championed a dramatic increase in the number of older Pennsylvanians who receive affordable prescription drugs through
Pennsylvania’s PACE and PACENET programs. He also saved older adults thousands of dollars a year that they would have been forced to pay
under the federal Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
In addition, Governor Rendell won passage of the landmark Growing Greener 2 environmental investment package. The $625 million initiative is
cleaning up rivers and streams, improving parks, returning abandoned industrial sites to productive use, protecting open space and preserving
Governor Rendell has accomplished all of this while being a careful steward of the commonwealth’s finances. When he became Governor, the
commonwealth faced a projected budget deficit of $2.4 billion. As one of his first acts, Governor Rendell cut government spending to close that
deficit and implemented programs and policies to apply business principles of productivity and cost-savings to the operation of state government.
From 1992 through 1999, Governor Rendell served as the 121st Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. Among his many accomplishments as Mayor,
Rendell eliminated a $250 million deficit; balanced the city's budget and generated five consecutive budget surpluses; reduced business and wage
taxes for four consecutive years; implemented new revenue-generating initiatives, and dramatically improved services to the City's neighborhoods.
The New York Times called the Philadelphia renaissance under Rendell “the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history.” Before serving as
Mayor, Rendell was elected district attorney of the City of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978 through 1985.
The Governor, who served as general chair of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential election, has always been active
in the community through a variety of memberships on boards, and also teaches government and politics courses at the University of Pennsylvania.
An Army veteran, the Governor is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1965) and Villanova Law School (J.D. 1968). He was born on
January 5, 1944.
The Governor and his wife, First Lady Marjorie O. Rendell, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, have a son, Jesse. They
celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary on July 10, 2007.
GREGORY C. FAJT Chief of Staff
Gregory C. Fajt, born Nov. 30, 1954, in Greensburg, son of the late Henry and Marie Fajt; Greensburg-Salem H.S., 1973;
St. Vincent Coll. (B.S.), accounting, 1977; Duquesne Univ. Sch. of Law (J.D.), 1984; frmr. lawyer/CPA/shareholder: Leech,
Tishman, Fuscaldo & Lampl LLC; mem.: Pa. Bar Assn., Pa. Inst. of CPAs; apptd. Secretary, Department of Revenue Jan.
2003; apptd. Chief of Staff May 2007.
ROY W. KIENITZ Deputy Chief of Staff
Roy W. Kienitz, born Sept. 14, 1962, in Mountain View, Calif., son of Martin E. and Mary L. Kienitz; Henry M. Gunn Sr.
H.S., 1980; Univ. of Calif.-Santa Barbara (B.A.), biology, 1983; U.S. Senate staff, 1986-94; frmr. sec.: Md. Planning Dept.;
apptd. Dep. Chief of Staff Jan. 2003; married Katherine L. Kincade; 2 children.
STEVEN L. KNILEY Deputy Chief of Staff
Steven L. Kniley, born April 21, 1956, in Lancaster, son of Kenneth and Bessie Kniley; Dover Area H.S., 1974; Penn State
Univ. (B.A.), English/writing option, 1978; frmr. reporter: Shamokin News-Item; frmr. editor/info. specialist: House Dem.
Info. Office; frmr. info. officer/dep. dir./dir.: Sen. Dem. Comm. Office; frmr. exec. dir.: Sen. Dem. Comm. & Research Office;
frmr. press sec.: PA Dept. of Rev.; apptd. Dep. Chief of Staff May 2007; married Kim E.; 2 children.
K. SCOTT ROY Deputy Chief of Staff
K. Scott Roy, born Jan. 22, 1966 in Allegheny Co., son of James D. Roy and Ruth Hawthorne Roy; Mars H.S.; Allegheny
Coll. (B.A.) 1988; The Dickinson School of Law of the Penn State Univ. (J.D.), 1991; apptd. Assist. Cnsl. Pa. Bd. of
Probation and Parole, 1992; apptd. Acting Chief Cnsl., Pa Board of Probation and Parole, 1997; apptd. Chief Cnsl.: Pa. Bd.
of Probation and Parole, 1998; apptd. Dep. Gen. Cnsl., OGC, 2000; apptd. Exec. Dep. Gen. Cnsl., OGC, 2004; mem.:
ABA, PBA, and Dauphin Co. Bar Assns.; apptd. Dep. Chief of Staff May 2007; married Penny; 3 children.
ARTHUR CHARLES STEPHENS Deputy Chief of Staff
Arthur Charles Stephens, born Jan. 6, 1966, in Bulter, N.J., son of the late Arthur Charles and Helen Thomas Stephens;
Elk Lake H.S., valedictorian, 1983; Penn State Univ. (B.S.), finance, 1987; frmr. mgr.: Andersen Consulting (now
Accenture); frmr. principal: Deloitte Consulting; frmr. dep. sec.: Gov. Office of IT, 2003-05; Penn State IT Adv. Bd.,
eBusiness Research Ctr. for Penn State Univ., apptd. Dep. Chief of Staff June 2005; married Melissa; 3 children.
JOHN H. ESTEY Senior Advisor to the Governor
John H. Estey, born Nov. 12, 1962, in Philadelphia, son of John S. and the late Margaret Glenn Estey; Chestnut Hill Acad.,
1980; Carleton Coll. (B.A.), philosophy, 1984; Univ. of Pgh. Sch. of Law (J.D.), cum laude, 1989; frmr. law clerk: Judge
Thomas N. O’Neill Jr., U.S. Dist. Ct. for the E. Dist. of Pa.; frmr. dep. chief of staff: Mayor Edward G. Rendell; frmr. atty.:
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; mem.: Amer., Pa., Phila. Bar Assns.; apptd. Chief of Staff Jan. 2003; apptd. Sr.
Advisor to the Governor May 2007; married Amy F.; 3 children.
A. EVERETTE JAMES, III Senior Advisor to the Governor
Everette James, born Dec. 6, 1961, in Chapel Hill, NC, son of Dr. Everette James, Jr. and Jeannette Cross James;
Pinehenge Sch., 1980; Univ. of NC at Chapel Hill (B.A.), Art History; Chicago Kent College of Law (J.D.); Stuart Sch. of
Bus. (M.B.A.); frmr. sr. adv.: US Dept. of Commerce; frmr. dep. asst. sec.: US Dept. of Commerce; frmr. partner: LeBoeuf,
Lamb Green & MacRae; bd. mem.: Adv. Bd., UNC Chapel Hill; frmr. bd. mem.: Intl. Pension Found.; frmr. chair: OECD
Working Party on Private Pensions; apptd. Sr. Advisor to the Governor March 2007; married Gretchen, 2 children.
KATE R. PHILIPS Special Advisor to the Governor
Kate R. Philips, born Aug. 20, 1974, in Erie, daughter of Anthony and Gloria Ferritto; Iroquois H.S., 1992; W. Va. Univ.
(B.S.), journalism, 1996; reporter/weather anchor, WICU-TV 12; reporter of Md. politics, Cable News 21; frmr. comm. dir.:
Gov.’s Census 2000 Campaign, Md.; pub. affairs mgr./press sec.: Md. Port Adm.; press sec.: Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy
Townsend’s campaign for Gov. of Md.; appt. Press Secretary March 2003; apptd. Special Advisor to the Governor Aug.
LANCE SIMMENS Special Assistant to the Governor for Intergovernmental Affairs
Lance Simmens, born Aug. 27, 1953, in Abington, son of Robert A. and Marguerite Simmens; Archbishop Wood H.S.,
1971; Georgia Southern Univ. (B.S.), 1976; Temple Univ. (M.P.A.), 1978; completed exec. progs. at Harvard Univ. John F.
Kennedy Sch., Harvard Inst. for Intl. Dev.; served in sr. positions: Carter, Clinton admins.; staff: U.S. Senate Budget
Comm.; asst. exec. dir.: U.S. Conf. of Mayors; natl. dir.: Govt. Relations, Screen Actors Guild; exec. dir.: Gov.’s Cabinet on
Children and Families; apptd. Special Assistant to the Governor 2004; 2 children.
SUZANNE HOPE ITZKO Special Assistant to the Governor
Suzanne Hope Itzko, born Jan. 4, 1973, in Elkins Park, daughter of Mark Itzko; Northeast H.S., 1990; The George
Washington Univ. (B.B.A.), bus. econ./pub. policy, 1994; Univ. of Pa. (M.G.A.), 1997; frmrly. Mayor’s Bus. Action Team,
City of Phila.; frmr. spec. asst. to the Mayor: City of Phila.; frmr. exec. dir.: Rendell ‘95 Political Action Comm.; frmr. policy
dir.: Rendell for Governor Campaign; frmr. policy dir.: Office of the Governor-Elect (Transition Office), 2002-03; apptd.
Special Assistant to the Governor Jan. 2003.
ABASS B. KAMARA Special Assistant to the Governor
Abass B. Kamara, born May 21, 1977, in Pittsburgh, son of Solomon and Zainabu Kamara; Schenley H.S., 1994; Cornell
Univ. (B.A./B.S.), govt., 2000; frmr. staff: Pa. Dem. Coordinated Campaign, Bob O’Connor for Mayor Campaign (Pgh.), City
Councilman Jim Ferlo’s Office (Pgh.); constituency outreach dir./field coord.: Rendell for Governor Campaign; frmr. Office
of the Governor-Elect (Transition Office); mem.: Albright UM Ch., W. Pa. Annual Conf. of the UM Ch., Amnesty Intl., Cornell
Club of Pgh., Onyx Alliance; apptd. Special Assistant to the Governor Feb. 2003.
ANNE M. SHRIVER Executive Assistant to the Governor
Anne M. Shriver, born May 27, 1960, in Harrisburg, daughter of Thomas B. and Theresa Blockus Shriver; Trinity Cath. H.S.,
1978; att. Calif. Univ. of Pa., 1978-80; frmr. clerk: Pub. Information Office, Pa. House of Rep.; frmr. exec. asst.: U.S. Cong.
Jim Courter (N.J.); frmrly. Reznick Fedder & Silverman CPAs; frmr. adm. officer/scheduler: Office of the Lt. Gov.; exec.
asst. to the Gov., 2001-03; reapptd. Executive Assistant to the Governor Jan. 2003.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE GOVERNOR
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides that “the supreme executive power shall be vested in the Governor, who shall
take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In addition to serving as chief officer of the executive branch of state government, the Governor is
Commander-in-Chief of the Military Forces of the Commonwealth, except when they are called into the actual service of the United States.
To be eligible for election as Governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the
Commonwealth for a minimum of seven years before the election, unless he or she has been absent on the public business of the state or the
The Governor holds office for a four-year term beginning on the third Tuesday of January following the gubernatorial election and is eligible to
serve one additional four-year term.
Among the Governor’s numerous duties are the following:
Appointments – The Governor appoints the secretaries of departments and heads of other cabinet-level agencies, as well as members of state
boards, commissions, and councils. Under the Administrative Code, some of these appointments are subject to Senate approval, mostly by a simple
majority. The Governor also appoints justices of the peace, which a majority of the Senate must confirm, and he appoints other judicial officers,
which two-thirds of the Senate must confirm.
The Senate has 25 legislative days to act upon nominations. Should the Senate fail to act upon a nomination within the required time, the
nominee takes office as if the appointment has gained the Senate’s consent.
In a similar manner, the Governor fills vacancies in the offices of the Auditor General, the State Treasurer, the Attorney General, and other
elected administrative officers. A special election is held the next appropriate election day, unless the first day of the vacancy is within two calendar
months before election day. In this case, the election is held on the second succeeding election day appropriate to the office.
Budget – The Governor must annually present to the General Assembly a balanced operating budget and a capital budget for the ensuing fiscal
year, as well as a financial plan for not less than the next five succeeding fiscal years.
The General Assembly must initiate and pass a budget bill. If the estimated revenues and available surplus are less than the proposed
expenditures, the Governor can disapprove of any individual item in the budget bill or recommend additional revenue sources. The General
Assembly may override a Governor’s veto and repass the vetoed items by a two-thirds vote. The Legislature also must initiate any measure to
provide additional revenue.
Executive Department Management – The Governor approves the appointment and compensation of all deputies and employees in administrative
departments and boards and commissions, as well as his own staff. Through his chairmanship of the Executive Board, as well as administrative and
policy statements contained in Executive Orders or by Management and other Directives, the Governor establishes policies and practices for all
employees and agencies under his jurisdiction. The Governor also issues emergency and other proclamations.
He may require information in writing from Executive Department officers, as well as request the head of any department, board, or commission
to submit for his approval estimates of the amount of money required for each activity or function to be carried on during any period of time. If the
Governor does not approve the estimate, it must be revised in accordance with his wishes and resubmitted for approval. Should any agency not
submit an estimate after it was requested, the Governor may notify the Treasurer not to draw any warrant in favor of the department until the
Governor has received and approved the estimate.
The Governor approves or disapproves of all investments by departments, boards, or commissions. In addition, he appoints and determines the
compensation for a comptroller and the comptroller’s staff in each administrative department and independent board and commission.
With the consultation of the Auditor General, the Governor can require the installation of a uniform system or systems of bookkeeping,
accounting, and financial reports for administrative agencies.
Legislation – The Governor delivers messages to the General Assembly and suggests measures that the Legislature may want to introduce in bill
On extraordinary occasions, the Governor may convene the General Assembly when it is not in session. In the case of disagreement between
the Senate and the House with respect to adjournment, he can adjourn them at any time not exceeding four months. He may convene the Senate,
as well, in extraordinary session by proclamation for the transaction of executive business.
Any bills and concurrent resolutions passed by the General Assembly, except for adjournment, must be submitted to the Governor for approval.
If any bill is not returned by the Governor within 10 days after it has been submitted, it becomes law. If the General Assembly prevents the bill’s
return due to its adjournment, the bill becomes law, unless the Governor files it with his objections in the office of the Secretary of the
Commonwealth and gives public notice of his actions within 30 days after the adjournment. If the Governor returns the bill, vetoing the measure, the
General Assembly needs a two-thirds majority to override the veto.
Military – The Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth’s military forces, except when they are called into the service of the
Other Powers and Duties – The Governor can remit fines and forfeitures and grant reprieves. If the Board of Pardons has first held a public hearing
and made a recommendation, the Governor can also commute sentences and pardon persons, except in cases of impeachment. He may demand
fugitives from states or territories, as well as issue warrants for the arrest of persons in Pennsylvania upon the request of other Governors.
The Governor serves as an ex officio member of many state boards and commissions, several state colleges and universities, and other state-
related institutions, as well as a number of private institutions. He can appoint accountants to audit the Auditor General and his office, approves
applications for letters patent of corporations for profit, and can grant commissions to pilots for aeronautical work.
The Governor certifies elections for Presidential Electors in the Electoral College and provides Congressional election returns to United States
officials. He also issues commissions to persons for Judge of the Supreme Court or Superior Court and for every court of record.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE OFFICE STAFF
DIRECTOR, CORRESPONDENCE OFFICE
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE RECEPTIONIST
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
STAFF ASSISTANT TO THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE OFFICE
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO GREG FAJT