Scott Neitzel leaving state Dept. of Administration in March

PSC chair Ellen Nowak to lead agency

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Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel will leave the agency on March 2 and will be replaced by current Public Service Commission chair Ellen Nowak, Gov. Scott Walker’s office announced Thursday.


In a letter to department staff, Neitzel said he had “decided to move on to the next chapter of my professional life.”

“Many have asked what I am doing next and, frankly, I don’t know,” Neitzel wrote. “It’s time for a new challenge and I am proud of what we’ve accomplished and privileged to have served with such a dedicated team.”

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Neitzel joined Walker’s administration in February 2015 after leaving a senior management position at Madison Gas & Electric. In the three years he led the department, Neitzel was deeply involved in the negotiations around the new Milwaukee Bucks arena and the $3 billion incentive deal to bring Foxconn to the state.

The Bucks arena legislation made the Department of Administration secretary chair of the Wisconsin Center District board while the arena is being built and gave the secretary the power to designate someone in his or her place once construction is complete.


Beyond the arena and Foxconn, Neitzel pointed to the building of the new Hill Farms State Office Building, integrating personnel management into the department, implementing civil service reform and shared human resource service and transitioning to a new IT platform as major projects during his tenure.

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Nowak will start her position on March 5. She was named PSC chair in 2014 and was appointed to the commission in 2011. Before joining the PSC she was chief of staff to then Waukesha County executive Dan Vrakas and also served as legal counsel and chief of staff to former Assembly Speaker John Gard.

“Serving the public at the PSC has been a tremendous honor, and I thank Governor Walker for placing his trust in me to lead DOA,” Ellen Nowak said. “We will continue building upon Governor Walker’s reforms, which have made Wisconsin a stronger, more prosperous state for everyone.”

Walker named PSC commissioner Lon Roberts as Nowak’s replacement as chair of the PSC. A new commissioner will be named in the near future to fill the vacancy created by Nowak’s departure.

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