Mayor-Elect Elorza Announces Appointments to Senior Leadership Team

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor-elect Jorge O. Elorza today announced his appointments of Marisa O’Gara, Theresa Agonia, Sheila Dormody, and David Ortiz to senior leadership positions in his administration.

O’Gara and Agonia will each serve as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s Office. Dormody has been named Director of Policy for Mayor Elorza, and Ortiz will serve as Senior Adviser to the Mayor and Director of Strategic Communications. All four will report to Chief of Staff Tony Simon.

“Marisa, Theresa, Sheila, and David are passionate and energetic individuals with diverse and impressive records of service to our community,” Mayor-elect Elorza said. “I look forward to working closely with each of them and the rest of my leadership team to jumpstart economic development, improve customer service at City Hall, and make Providence a city that works for all residents.”

Dormody currently serves as the Acting Director of Policy for Mayor Angel Taveras. She is also the City’s first Director of Sustainability and recently released Sustainable Providence, a comprehensive sustainability plan. She has led city initiatives to promote recycling and composting, energy efficiency and renewables, and stormwater management. Dormody serves on the boards of the Providence Plan, the Distributed Generation Board, and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. Previously, she worked for the environmental advocacy group Clean Water Action, where she served as New England co-director. Dormody is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. She and her husband live in the Elmhurst neighborhood.

O’Gara currently serves as Director and Spokeswoman for Mayor-elect Elorza’s Transition Team. Prior to that, she served as his Campaign Manager, overseeing a staff of 14 as well as campaign communications, field operations, and fundraising and finance for both the primary and the general election. She has prior experience in city government, having served most recently as Deputy Director of Community Relations under Mayor Angel Taveras. As Deputy Chief of Staff, O’Gara will work closely with Chief of Staff Tony Simon to oversee departments and staff in the Mayor’s Office. O’Gara is graduate of the University of Rhode Island Honors Program where she holds degrees in English and French.

Agonia currently serves as Business Outreach and Public Relations Coordinator for the City of Central Falls. As part of her duties for the Diossa Administration, she handles communications efforts, business and community outreach, and provides support to residents and organizations through event planning and coordination. Prior to her work for the City of Central Falls, she worked for the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University as a Communications Assistant to the Director. Agonia is a graduate of Roger Williams University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications in 2013. She is a Central Falls native and is bi-lingual in English and Portuguese. As Deputy Chief, Agonia will oversee the work and appointments of City Boards and Commissions, and will manage special projects within the Mayor-elect’s office.

Ortiz is currently the Director of Media Relations and Communications for the City of Providence, and previously served as Press Secretary for Mayor Angel Taveras. Prior to joining the Taveras administration, Ortiz worked as the Director of Development for the Providence-based arts organization AS220. He previously worked as a reporter for Providence Business News, the Standard-Times in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and as a freelance writer for magazines and the international news service Reuters. He lives in Elmhurst with his wife and children, who attend the Providence Schools. In his new capacity as Senior Adviser and Director of Strategic Communications, Ortiz will assist in strategically guiding the Mayor-elect’s long term policy and communications goals and initiatives across City Departments.

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