LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a new appointment to lead the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) and named an acting director to the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB). The governor also designated a new chief information officer to lead the state’s information technology (IT) efforts. These positions fill key leadership roles within the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration with individuals who have decades of experience serving in high-level positions in state government.
“I am thrilled to have three qualified, skilled public servants join my administration to continue putting Michiganders first and get things done that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Julia, Michelle, and Laura bring a wealth of experience to their new roles and will help us continue to stay laser-focused on growing the economy, creating good-paying jobs, and making progress on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families, communities, and small businesses.”
Julia Dale, Director of UIA
Julia Dale will transition to director of the UIA from her position at DTMB. Julia most recently served as an assistant attorney general and Section Head of Business and Charities Section in the Office of the Attorney General and previously worked in various high-level roles at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Julia received her J.D. at Wayne State University and her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University.
“Julia will hit the ground running and I am proud to have a permanent director leading the way at UIA,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Under her leadership, I am confident that UIA will clear the backlog, tackle waste, fraud, and abuse, and get people the resources they need while saving taxpayer dollars.”
“I am honored to continue serving my fellow Michiganders at the UIA,” said Julia Dale. “As we emerge from the pandemic, there is so much work to do to ensure that we can deliver benefits to families who need them and I cannot wait to pursue long overdue changes and work with the incredible staff to get things done.”
Liza Estlund Olson, who currently serves as acting director, will remain at UIA temporarily to help with the transition before returning to her previous role as director at the Office of the State Employer.
Michelle Lange, Acting Director of DTMB
Michelle Lange will serve as acting director at DTMB. She has held key leadership positions within DTMB in recent years, including chief deputy director, director of Executive Direction and Operations, chief of staff to the director, and as the department legislative liaison. Lange has worked under both Democratic and Republican governors, serving for Governor Whitmer under the chief operating officer and for Governor Rick Snyder as deputy director of Legislative Affairs. She also served as a judge on the Michigan Tax Tribunal and spent 12 years as a staff member in the Michigan Senate. Lange has both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University.
“Michelle has served in several high-level roles at DTMB and will continue moving the department forward as we work to find a permanent director,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Her decades of experience working across the aisle will help her steward the department and support state government as we stay laser-focused on growing our economy and putting more Michiganders on paths to prosperity.”
“DTMB is an outstanding organization of experienced and dedicated professionals who work to help, connect, and solve the issues of the day, and I am excited for the opportunity to lead the team,” said Michelle Lange. “I am committed to continuing to provide top-notch administrative services to state departments, ensuring they can keep getting the job done for all Michiganders. Michigan’s families, communities, and small business are counting on us.”
The State of Michigan will conduct a nationwide search to select a permanent DTMB director.
Laura Clark, Chief Information Officer
Laura Clark will take the helm as the state’s chief information officer (CIO), directing the state’s technology and digital security efforts. Laura currently holds the position of chief security officer and will retain those duties. She has served in various leadership positions within government for more than 20 years, leading IT services, strategies, and systems. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in geography from Michigan State University.
“Laura’s leadership plays a key role in keeping state employees safe online and helps them focus on getting things done for families,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am thrilled to have her perspective and expertise so we can continue delivering for Michiganders.”
“Technology is paramount to delivering government services and I am committed to advancing innovative and safe solutions that reach all residents and businesses,” said Laura Clark. “Michiganders deserve a government focused on delivering for them, and I am excited for the opportunity to make that a reality.”