MN Dept of Ed staff shuffle: Briner now chief of staff, Hovis moving

From MPR’s Tom Weber….

In launching its new website Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Education also revealed a move in senior management.

The website’s ‘executive team’ page now lists Charlene Briner as both chief of staff and communications director. She had previously only served as communications director; the chief of staff position did not exist.

Briner confirmed the move Thursday; she also confirmed Keith Hovis – a communications specialist in Gov. Mark Dayton’s office – will move to the department in coming weeks in a ‘senior communications position.’

Briner has been chief liaison between media and the department since her hiring in 2011. She’s also often the point person who accompanies commissioner Brenda Cassellius to public events around the state.

Before 2011, Briner worked as a media specialist in the Minnesota House of Representatives – often working with state Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, on education matters. Hovis was St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s press secretary before being hired in the governor’s office.

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