Hickenlooper Announces His First Mayoral Appoinments
(DENVER) On the steps of Denver’s City and County Building, Mayor-elect John Hickenlooper announced his first mayoral appointments Tuesday, officially naming his chief of staff, city council liaison, and communications director.
“Throughout the campaign I pledged to assemble the best team possible to help me lead this city into an era of positive change for all,” Hickenlooper said. “Today, we take the first step. These three talented individuals are committed to helping me implement my vision for Denver’s future. Their diverse experiences and unique skills will be tremendous assets to my administration and to the city as a whole. And this is only the beginning…”
Chief of Staff: Michael F. Bennet
Keeping true to his ideal of blending diverse private and public sector experience in his new administration, Hickenlooper named Michael Bennet – a man who has spent half his career in the public sector and half in the private sector – as his Chief of Staff.
A former Coro Foundation Public Affairs fellow, Bennet started his career in government, working as personal assistant to Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste (now president of Colorado College) and later as a law clerk for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Following a brief stint at the Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Bennet returned to the public sector as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration.
Bennet has spent the past six years in Denver working for the Anschutz Investment Company, most recently as Managing Director, where he had direct responsibility for the investment of over $500 million. He led the reorganizations of four distressed companies including Forcenergy (which later merged with Denver-based Forest Oil), and Regal Cinemas, United Artists, and Edwards Theaters, which together required the restructuring of over $3 billion in debt. Bennet also managed, on behalf of Anschutz, the consolidation of the three theater chains into Regal Entertainment Group, the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world and one of Colorado’s largest public companies.
Bennet received his bachelor’s degree in history with honors from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal.
City Council Liaison: Allegra “Happy” Haynes
Serving as the vital link between the Mayor and the new City Council will be council veteran Allegra “Happy” Haynes.
Currently finishing her third term on Denver City Council, Haynes was first elected in 1990 and served as Council President from 1998 to 2000. She has chaired the Airport Committee for most of her tenure, playing an instrumental role in the development of Denver International Airport and in transforming the former Stapleton Airport into one of the most innovative infill redevelopment projects in the country. Haynes’ City Council record demonstrates a strong commitment to children and families, open space preservation, sustainable development and the creation of economic opportunities for all.
Prior to her election to the Denver City Council, Haynes served as an administrative aide to former Mayor Federico Pena. She also worked as a professional facilitator, assisting communities with strategic planning and collaboration, leadership development and diversity training.
Her civic involvement includes being an active member of Rotary, a trustee of the Colorado Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a founding board member of the Mile High Youth Corps, and service on several other non-profit boards.
A native Denverite, Haynes attended Denver Public Schools, received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College at Columbia University, completed two years of law school, and received her Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Communications Director: Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
As Communications Director, Lindy Eichenbaum Lent will continue her campaign and transition role as Hickenlooper’s spokesperson, while overseeing all communications-related functions of the new administration.
Prior to joining the Hickenlooper campaign as communications director in December 2002, Lent served as Mike Feeley’s deputy communications director in his 2002 bid for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District seat. During her nearly three years as the communications director for
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Texas, she worked with the national media on topics ranging from campaign finance reform and international trade to tax policy and Social Security.
As a political journalist, Lent covered Chicago City Hall for the Illinois Times, Daily Southtown and Arlington Heights Daily Herald newspapers; covered Capitol Hill as a Washington correspondent for WISC-TV (Madison, WI) and KVIA-TV (El Paso, TX); and held internships at CNN’s Washington bureau and Chicago’s CBS affiliate.
Lent received her bachelor’s degree in political science with honors from Stanford University and her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
# # #