Providence Mayor-elect Smiley begins building his administration

PROVIDENCE – Mayor-elect Brett Smiley Monday announced several key appointments to his new administration who will begin work when he takes office in January.

Smiley, a Democrat, said Courtney Hawkins will serve as chief operating officer. She most recently served as a health and human services industry executive at Salesforce. Hawkins previously served as director of human services and policy director for Providence. 

Emily Ward Crowell was named chief of staff. She currently serves as executive director of the transition. Crowell previously served as chief of staff of the R.I Department of Education and chief of communications for Providence. 

Matthew Shumate will serve as deputy chief of staff. Shumate last served as deputy campaign manager for Helena B. Foulkes’s campaign for governor. Prior to the campaign, he served as deputy chief of staff for Providence. 

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Patricia Socarras will serve as director of communications. Socarras recently served as Congressman-elect Seth Magaziner’s communications director during his campaign to represent R.I.’s 2nd Congressional District. Socarras previously served as press secretary for Providence. 

“Our team has spent the past few months interviewing hundreds of people for positions throughout the city in order to build the best team [for] the best-run city in the country,” Smiley said. “I’m excited by the team we’ve built and am looking forward to continuing to expand this team of highly qualified and committed individuals in January.” 

Other staff announcements included:  

  • David Santilli as director of digital communications 
  • Michael Napolitano as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs  
  • Shastery Gonzalez Peña as executive assistant to the mayor 
  • Brian Guzman as mayoral advance 
  • Laura Perez as constituent service representative  
  • Dorian Griffin as mayor’s scheduler 
  • Alejandra De Paz as mayor’s office manager  
  • Samara Pinto as communications associate.