Lamont Administration Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe to Leave State Service for Private Sector

Governor Ned Lamont Tuesday announced that Josh Geballe – who has been serving double-duty in the Lamont administration as commissioner of the Dept of Administrative Services and chief operating officer – has accepted a new job in the private sector and plans to leave service with the state effective February 14, 2022. The governor will be nominating Michelle Gilman of Colchester to succeed Geballe in the position of Dept of Administrative Services commissioner.

Gilman currently serves as deputy chief operating officer in a position that she’s held since March 2020. In this role, she has managed numerous COVID-19 initiatives on behalf of the administration, including overseeing the alternate hospital site initiative to prepare for potential surge capacity, as well as implementation of the state’s nationally recognize free testing program with a strong emphasis on access for vulnerable populations. More recently, she supported the state’s vaccine program roll-out, working closely with medical providers, municipalities, and workforce partners to ensure an efficient, equitable implementation. Throughout the pandemic, she also assisted with PPE, medical equipment, and testing supply management to meet the needs of the state’s residents.

Prior to her current position, she served as assistant state comptroller under former Comptroller Kevin Lembo in a role that required her to oversee the office’s operations, policy implementations, and technology initiatives. She also formerly served as chief of staff in the Office of the Secretary of the State. She is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University.

DAS comprises many of the business functions of state government, including information technology, human resources, procurement, facilities and real estate, and construction services, among other areas.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle has been a trusted advisor who has coordinated many of our response initiatives, including developing a close relationship with the leadership of the hospitals throughout the state, as well as on the procurement of PPE and essential supplies needed for our residents and healthcare providers,” Governor Lamont said. “She is already well experienced at the needs of this important job, which is why I am certain she will be able to hit the ground running and continue the successes in this office that have been built over these last several years. I appreciate her for accepting this critical responsibility.”

“First, I want to thank Governor Lamont and Commissioner Geballe for their leadership and confidence as I take on this challenge,” Gilman said. “I am committed to continuing their great work to ensure that we streamline state government services in a way that includes equal access for every resident and business, and doesn’t leave anyone behind. We have an incredible team at the Department of Administrative Services, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with each and every one of them to make more progress for our great state.”

Geballe has accepted a job with Yale as its new senior associate provost for entrepreneurship and innovation. In that role, he will help lead the university’s work to further develop the regional innovation ecosystem and help enable Yale research to have the greatest possible impact on the world. Geballe will serve as managing director of the Office of Cooperative Research and partner closely with the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking to enhance collaboration across the university and with partners in the community and industry to create new startups, jobs, and economic opportunity.

He first joined the Lamont administration in January 2019 as commissioner of DAS. When the previous chief operating officer, Paul Mounds, Jr., was promoted as the governor’s chief of staff in February 2020, Geballe assumed the responsibilities of that role while also continuing to serve as commissioner. The chief operating officer is responsible for serving as a conduit between executive branch departments and the Office of the Governor, with a focus on enhancing services, improving collaboration, and streamlining the operations of state government by breaking down any duplicative functions and ensuring that activities among state agencies are coordinated and efficient.

Governor Lamont credits Geballe with improving government services and modernizing state operations by implementing practices in Connecticut state government that reduce bureaucracy and create efficiencies, such as through a recently implemented streamlining of the state’s human resources operations, the digitization of millions of state government documents, and the launch of a new process that is overhauling the state’s information technology resources in order to centralize its functions and provide modern solutions.

The governor also applauded Geballe’s substantial work to help coordinate his administration’s response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Josh Geballe is one of the hardest workers I know, whose dedication to the people of Connecticut and the strength of our state deserves applause,” Governor Lamont said. “I encouraged him to join our administration three years ago because I wanted someone who would bring a private-sector approach to the business functions of state government with a focus on improving ways that we can better structure state services in order to more efficiently respond to the needs of the people we serve. He took on this task with an energetic passion, and state government is stronger because of it. I especially must note his work when it comes to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic is a prime example of why government cannot operate in silos. COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, and Josh has worked tirelessly to ensure that each state agency has been coordinating their response so that we have one unified approach that serves the people of Connecticut the best and most efficient way possible. I commend him for his service and I wish him nothing but the best in all of his future endeavors.”

“I want to offer my deepest thanks to Governor Lamont for inviting me to join his administration over three years ago,” Geballe said. “It has been an honor to learn from his approach, benefit from his judgement, particularly during the pandemic when there were rarely clear answers or easy decisions, and help implement his vision. I also want to thank and congratulate Michelle, who joined us just as the pandemic was starting and has been an amazing partner in everything we’ve done since. She is widely respected across state government and among our outside partners based on her decades of public service and will ensure we don’t miss a beat on the wide range of initiatives underway.

“Finally, I want to offer my deepest personal thanks to all the members of our extended team, particularly those who stepped forward when COVID descended on our state two years ago to work around the clock, across agency boundaries, to rise to the challenge and serve when people were looking to their government for guidance, leadership and help. You will forever be an inspiration to me, and I will never forget the privilege of working shoulder to shoulder with you.”

Gilman will begin serving as commissioner-designate immediately following Geballe’s planned departure. Her nomination is being forwarded to the Connecticut General Assembly for its advice and consent.