Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs Announces Administration Transition Co-Chairs

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs Announces Monica Villalobos and Michael Haener as Hobbs Administration Transition Co-Chairs

 Announcement highlights Hobbs’ commitment to building a diverse administration of Arizona leaders

PHOENIX –Today, Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs announced that Monica Villalobos and Michael Haener will serve as co-chairs for her transition team. The co-chairs will guide the transition team as it lays the foundation for a successful Hobbs administration.

“I am thrilled to have Monica Villalobos and Michael Haener as co-chairs of the transition team for my administration. Their track record of leadership and commitment to public service are an asset to my team as we build an administration that reflects the diversity and needs of our great state,” said Governor-Elect Hobbs. “I look forward to working with Monica and Mike, and I’m incredibly honored that they are joining me on this journey to move Arizona forward.”

This decision from Governor-Elect Hobbs demonstrates her commitment to ensure the great diversity of Arizona is reflected in the backgrounds of those engaged in decision-making at all levels of her administration. Ms. Villalobos, a prominent business leader who was ranked one of the most influential women in Arizona, is one of the first Latinas to lead a gubernatorial transition team in Arizona. She was a member of the Republicans for Katie Hobbs coalition and a surrogate during the campaign. Michael Haener worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for Arizona’s last Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, and served as Hobbs’ 2018 transition chair when she was elected Secretary of State.

Biographies of the co-chairs are below:

Monica Villalobos, Hobbs Administration Transition Co-Chair
Ms. Villalobos was named President & CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber in late 2019. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic growth initiatives of the chamber and foundation. She is also the operator of the Arizona MBDA business center. Her background as a corporate marketing executive and as an entrepreneur result in a unique combination of skill and talent with 25 years of experience. Ms. Villalobos is the founding principal at ResearchByDesign, a marketing research firm specializing in primary qualitative and quantitative research.

Ms. Villalobos is due to complete her doctorate from the University of Southern California next year, holds a Master of Arts in Communications degree from Seton Hall University with honors, and undergraduate degrees in Linguistics and Psychology from UCLA. She currently serves on the boards of St. Mary’s Food Bank, Valley of the Sun United Way, Friends of Public Radio, SciTech Institute, and the AZ Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Villalobos resides in Phoenix, AZ caring for her mother, and two children, Michael Jr. and Maximiliano.

Michael Haener, Hobbs Administration Transition Co-Chair
Michael Haener has more than twenty years of experience in the public and private sectors. Mr. Haener has worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, where he worked to develop, advocate, and implement policy and programs on a broad range of issues from economic development to healthcare.

Mr. Haener also served as Director of Legislative Affairs and Communications Director for the Arizona Office of the Attorney General, Assistant to the Mayor of Phoenix, Legislative Aide for a U.S. Senator and as an independent strategic policy and campaign consultant.

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