Governor McKee Announces Leadership Transition at the Department of Administration

Published on Friday, March 24, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today announced a leadership transition at the Department of Administration (DOA). Director James E. Thorsen will be stepping down effective April 28th, returning to the U.S. Department of Treasury. Governor McKee also announced that Office of Management and Budget Director (OMB) Brian Daniels will serve as Interim Director upon Thorsen’s departure.

“Jim’s strong history of public service, combined with his business experience, gave him the tools to be a strong and effective leader of one of our State’s largest and most crucial departments. We are grateful for his commitment to the State while we navigated a once-in-a-generation pandemic. He will be missed, and I wish him the best in his next endeavor,” said Governor McKee.

“Over the past two years, it has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Rhode Island, working with the dedicated public servants at DOA. I thank Governor McKee for the opportunity. There is much work to be done in the time I have remaining and I will remain engaged and attentive, working with Director Daniels to ensure a smooth transition,” said Director Thorsen.

Before stepping up to lead OMB in 2021, Daniels previously served as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns. Daniels has over 20 years of experience at the federal, state, and local levels of government. He served in Rhode Island’s Office of Management and Budget, originally as the State’s first Director of Performance Management, responsible for reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of major government programs. Later, as OMB’s Deputy Budget Officer, he successfully developed a cost-benefit model to evaluate adult justice and child welfare programs. He previously served as Policy Director for Governor Lincoln Chafee and worked for 10 years on Capitol Hill. Daniels has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management.

"Brian has been a critical leader and trusted advisor as we’ve crafted our Administration’s budgets to lead out us out of the COVID-19 pandemic, propel our economic momentum and prepare for our state’s future,” said Governor McKee. “I thank Brian for stepping in at the Department of Administration – his background and leadership will ensure the Department and the state’s workforce continues to thrive.”

“I appreciate Governor McKee’s support and confidence in this role, and I am committed to advancing his vision of making state government more effective and responsive. Jim Thorsen has been a tremendous leader and mentor, and he has accomplished a great deal in his tenure as Director. I look forward to continuing those efforts as Interim Director of the Department of Administration,” said Director Daniels.

DOA provides supportive services to all Rhode Island departments and agencies for the effective coordination and direction of state programs within a changing administrative and fiscal environment, while ensuring accountability of and value for public dollars. The Department also provides policy direction for executive leadership in financial and administrative matters and is responsible for the statewide implementation of policy decisions affecting the organization and the delivery of services. Principal responsibilities of the Department include developing and administering the state budget; determining and maintaining standard specifications for purchases, contracts, bids, and awards for state purchases; maintaining and procuring state facilities; administering the statewide planning program; and managing the personnel of state departments and agencies.