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Justin Bibb names Cleveland mayoral transition advisors, seeks applicants for top city jobs

Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb, seen here speaking with reporters before the election, named a list of advisory committee members Wednesday who will help guide the transition. [Nick Castele / Ideastream Public Media]
Justin Bibb speaks with reporters outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

Cleveland Mayor-elect Justin Bibb named more than 80 transition advisors Wednesday to guide his administration as he prepares to take office next month.

The list includes former Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, the head of the city police union, a founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland, the leaders of the city’s three major hospital systems and many others.  

“I’m proud of the talented team of proven leaders that are working together to deliver actionable recommendations for my administration,” Bibb said in a statement released by the transition. “The work we are putting in now will prepare us to hit the ground running in January.”

Bibb is also seeking applicants for top City Hall jobs: law director, finance director, chief operating officer, communications chief and human resources director.

The committees are focused on 10 topics: economic development, education, environment, equity, health, a modern City Hall, neighborhoods, open government, safety and talent.

Two task forces will focus on city operations and public safety, with the latter helping the incoming Bibb administration implement Issue 24, the police oversight charter amendment passed by voters in November.

Coordinating the public safety task force is Melekte Melaku, an organizing strategist with the ACLU of Ohio. Other members include former city councilman Zack Reed, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio CEO Jeff Scott, Black Lives Matter Cleveland President LaTonya Goldsby and Dr. Edward M. Barksdale Jr., the surgeon-in-chief at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Among the members of the safety committee are the leaders of the police, fire and EMS unions, as well as Myesha Crowe, who leads the violence interrupter group Peacemakers Alliance.

Leading the city operations task force is Kate Warren, a research fellow at the Center for Community Solutions who ran unsuccessfully for Cleveland City Council in Ward 13 this year.

Also on the operations task force are Cleveland Public Library Director Felton Thomas, former county treasurer Jim Rokakis and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress CEO Tania Menesse, in addition to others.

In addition to Acton, Bibb’s health committee includes MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros, University Hospitals CEO Dr. Cliff Megerian and Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, among others.

Bibb’s education advisors include Cuyahoga Community College President Alex Johnson, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon and Cleveland Teachers Union President Shari Obrenski, in addition to others.

The mayor-elect will need to raise money for the transition effort. In early November, his campaign treasurer formed a transition fund with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. State law requires the fund to disclose donors and spending by Jan. 15.

See the full list of committee members below:

Economic Development 

April Miller Boise  
Ariane Kirkpatrick  
David Gilbert 
Jade Davis  
Millie I. Caraballo


Alex B. Johnson
Ann Mullin 
Eric S. Gordon  
Helen Williams 
Holly Trifiro 
Rosa Morales Cruz  
Shari Obrenski  
Sonya Pryor-Jones 


Angie Schmitt
Brian Zimmerman 
Dan Brown  
Dr. Aparna Bole 
Shanelle Smith Whigham   

Equity in Action 

Brian E. Hall  
Chinenye Nkemere
Elaine Tso
Mordecai Cargill  
Victor Ruiz  


Dr. Amy Acton 
Dr. Akram Boutros  
Dr. Cliff Megerian  
Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic  
Emily Lundgard  
Jazmin Long  
Jean Polster
Rick Kemm 

Modern City Hall 

Bill Premier  
Caroline J. Peak  
Eden Giagnorio 
Shannon Copfer Brace 
Jimmie Corrigan 


Joyce Pan Huang  
Khrystalynn Shefton 
Marilyn Burns  
Ricardo Leon  
Timothy L. Tramble  
Tony F. Sias    

Open Government 

April Urban 
Dan O’Malley  
Leon A. Wilson  
Nora Kelley    


Fran Lally Jr.
Jeff Follmer 
Myesha Crowe  
Paul Melhuish
Sanford E. Watson 
Timothy Sommerfelt  


Elise Hara Auvil 
Fran DiDonato 
Kathryn M. Hall 
Marquez L. Brown   
Yentil Rawlinson 

Operations Task Force 

Coordinator: Kate Warren
Brad Whitehead 
David Heller 
Felton Thomas Jr. 
James Rokakis 
Jon Pinney 
Lillian Kuri 
Dean Lee Fisher
Marty McGann 
Peter Truog 
Randy McShephard 
Rev. Dr. Stephen Rowan 
Tania Menesse 
Teresa Metcalf Beasley 
Tom McNair

Public Safety Task Force

Coordinator: Melekte Melaku
Adam Hollingsworth
Dale Anglin 
Edward M. Barksdale Jr. 
Jeff Scott 
LaTonya Goldsby
Michael Deemer 
Samantha Soloman 
Zack Reed 
Rev. Anthony Small

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.