2011-12-22 / News

Jamestowner named governor’s chief of staff


GEORGE A. ZAINYEH GEORGE A. ZAINYEH Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee recently announced that effective Jan. 13, his new chief of staff will be Jamestown resident George A. Zainyeh. Patrick A. Rogers, the current chief of staff, will return to practice law.

“When I asked Patrick to lead my transition team and, later, serve in a joint capacity as my chief of staff and executive counsel, we agreed that it would be a one-year commitment to help me establish my administration,” Chafee said. “With the new year approaching, in keeping with his commitment to me, Patrick will be returning to practicing law.”

Chafee said that he is grateful for the essential role Rogers played during his campaign and for his guidance in helping to select his cabinet and staff.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the governor and the state of Rhode Island for this past year,” Rogers said. “I have long been an admirer of the governor’s courage and independence and his selfless commitment to Rhode Island. In George Zainyeh, the governor has selected an outstanding successor, who I am confident will be an asset to the Chafee Administration and help further the governor’s vision for the state of Rhode Island. I look forward to the continued success of Gov. Chafee’s Administration, and will continue to assist in any way called upon.”

Chafee said that Zainyeh has had a distinguished career in public service, including three terms in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he represented Warwick and served as deputy majority leader. Zainyeh also spent nine years with Rep. Patrick Kennedy and served as Kennedy’s chief of staff.

“George is extraordinarily talented and agrees with my strategic vision for our state,” Chafee said. “Having run against George twice in my campaigns for mayor of Warwick, I know first hand of George’s tremendous abilities, governmental experience, and deep commitment to Rhode Island. I am confident that George’s addition will further strengthen an already outstanding team. His temperament and his experience at all levels of government will serve me well in the upcoming budget process, in working to advance my legislative initiatives and agenda, and in the myriad issues he will confront as chief of staff.”

“Lincoln Chafee is thoughtful, honest and straightforward,” Zainyeh said. “I know Gov. Chafee to be a man of tremendous integrity and I have a great deal of respect for him. I have big shoes to fill and look forward to building on the successful foundation that Pat Rogers has built over the past year.”

Zainyeh was most recently chief strategy officer for Family Service of Rhode Island, one of the state’s oldest and largest nonprofit human service agencies. In addition to his service in the Rhode Island House and with Kennedy, Zainyeh also previously served as vice president for Strategic Initiatives for the Princeton Review and as the American Cancer Society’s director of Government Relations and Advocacy for Rhode Island. A graduate of Bishop Hendricken High School, he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Rhode Island.

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