Secretary Kathy Koltin Blumenfeld, a long time Jewish community volunteer, will leave one governor’s cabinet position to fill another.
She will leave her position as Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions to become Secretary-designee of the Department of Administration, a sprawling agency with many key functions.
Blumenfeld, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, has been involved in the Madison Jewish community for most of her adult life. She is a former president of the Jewish Federation of Madison and served as a board member there for 17 years.
Gov. Tony Evers said Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan will be leaving the Evers Administration on Jan. 17, 2022. Evers thanked him for his service and said Blumenfeld would immediately fill the position, in a press statement.
“Secretary Blumenfeld has been an incredible partner and leader at DFI since the beginning of my administration, including during the pandemic, providing guidance and steady leadership for Wisconsin’s financial institutions and the financial well-being of folks across our state,” Evers said. “I know she will bring the same sort of strategic and dependable leadership to the Department of Administration, and I’m really looking forward to her serving in this new role.”
The Department of Administration helps the governor develop and implement the state budget and it supports other state agencies by offering services like centralized purchasing and financial management. Its divisions and subdivisions include the State Prosecutors Office, State Budget Office, the Division of Personnel Management, and the Capitol Police, among others.
Blumenfeld’s involvement in the Jewish community is motivated by her belief in tikkun olam, or improving the world. “[Tikkun olam] is part of who I am, it’s part of my DNA, and I think I got that from my parents,” she told the chronicle in a 2019 interview. “My background and the leadership opportunities that I’ve been afforded through the Jewish community have helped me be a much better and experienced leader.”
In the Dec. 15 news release, she said, “I’m humbled and honored that Governor Evers has appointed me to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Administration. I will provide steady leadership to help the department fulfil its mission to deliver effective and efficient services to government agencies and the public. Thank you, Governor Evers, for your continued confidence in me to serve the people of Wisconsin.”
Blumenfeld was appointed by the governor to lead the DFI in December of 2018. She was confirmed by the Wisconsin State Senate in October 2019. Prior to her appointment to DFI, Secretary Koltin Blumenfeld was the executive vice president of special operations of Total Administration Services Corporation.
She is both a certified public accountant and a project management professional, according to the news release.