Alan Salazar named to key position in Hickenlooper administration

Governor in waiting John Hickenlooper announced Thursday that Alan Salazar will be his chief policy and political director and that R.D. Sewald will be deputy director of legislative services.

Salazar is now a top aide to U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. He will start work at the governor’s office in January. Salazar will oversee and coordinate policy, legislative, communications and scheduling operations in the governor’s office. He will also provide strategic and political direction for the new administration, according to a press release.

Salazar, a fifth-generation Colorado native, has 25 years of political and government experience on the staffs of former U.S. Sens. Gary Hart and Tim Wirth. Salazar was Udall’s chief of staff in the U.S. House of Representatives before moving into his current position. He previously worked as deputy chief of staff for former Gov. Roy Romer.

Salazar’s political experience includes working as the campaign manager for Romer in 1994, as political and state director for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and 1996 and as campaign chair for Hickenlooper’s recent gubernatorial campaign.

Sewald is now director of legislative services and city council liaison for Mayor Hickenlooper at the City of Denver. He will leave the city on Dec. 1.

Sewald has more than 15 years of experience in state and local government with an emphasis on public policy and political management. As legislative services director, he monitored and evaluated legislative actions for the administration and was responsible for the administration’s legislative team that includes neighborhoods, boards and commissions and state and local legislative affairs.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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