Gov.-elect Ned Lamont has chosen a former Westport hedge fund executive to be his chief of staff and Hartford’s current chief financial officer to be Connecticut’s next top budget official.

Likely to become two of the most important members of the Democrat’s new administration, both are lauded by Lamont for having government and private experience. It’s one of the key criteria for the former businessman-turned-politician as he pieces together his cadre of top advisers before the Jan. 9 inauguration.

Lamont named Ryan Drajewicz, 39, most recently a senior management associate at Bridgewater Associates, as his chief of staff. Drajewicz has been the executive director of Lamont’s transition team. A native of Haddam who now lives in Fairfield, Drajewicz previously worked for nearly a decade for former Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd.

Drajewicz promised the governor’s office will have a “new energy, entrepreneurial spirit and creativity,” adding how “this is a new chapter for Connecticut and we are going to do things differently.”

Lamont also named Melissa McCaw, a 39-year-old born in Norwalk and raised in Waterbury, as his choice for secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.

McCaw has worked for nearly three years as Hartford’s CFO and budget director. She was previously budget director at the University of Hartford and served as a budget specialist at OPM, an agency responsible for the governor’s policy, planning, budgeting and management of state government.

McCaw said Lamont’s transition team has already done a lot of work focusing on ways to address Connecticut’s budget challenges since his election, praising the new governor’s “commitment to changing the economic direction of our state.”

Source: The Associated Press

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