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Politics & Government

Peduto staffers found work in federal government, the private sectors — and city government itself

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Ariel Worthy
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90.5 WESA

As a new administration takes the reins of city government, many staffers who have served Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto have moved on to new jobs of their own.

Peduto told WESA's The Confluence that he would be doing consulting in the near future — though he hoped for a job in federal government.

"I have been in touch with the folks in Washington [DC] and maybe in 2023 or 2024 there may be an opportunity ... working with potentially the Biden administration at the local level," Peduto told The Confluence. "I'll be more than likely setting up shop as a consultant, and taking on about four to six clients."

During the final city council meeting of his term, Peduto announced that he will "hopefully" work with a local university, but did not specify which one, nor what role he would play.

"Although I look forward to seeing you as a friend, I'm not going to be one to be hanging around," Peduto told city councilors. "I'm moving on with my life, I'll be doing consulting work throughout the next year, and hopefully working at a local university. And through those two jobs I'll be keeping myself busy."

"It'll be a clean cut, it'll be a new start, it'll be a next chapter," Peduto said. "And I look towards it with optimism and a new opportunity."

Peduto's top aide, chief of staff Dan Gilman, already has a university post lined up: He will work in Duquesne University as a senior advisor to president Ken Gormley.

Other aides announced plans for departure last year, according to releases issued by the city.

Lindsay Powell, Peduto’s assistant chief of staff and policy director, joins InnovatePGH as the company's workforce strategies director this month. She'll work on creating "a cohesive regional tech training ecosystem" to help residents find careers in that industry.

Peduto's executive assistant, James Hill, is joining the Pittsburgh Downtown partnership as director of constituent services.

Those departures join others who left the administration in the waning months of 2020.

Hersh Merenstein, who served as Peduto's local government and community relations coordinator, left that post in November. He took a position as government and foundation relations manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.

Finance director and city treasurer Doug Anderson also left in November, taking a job at PNC Bank as a relationship manager and vice pesident.

Peduto's former communications director, Tim McNulty, now works at the Pittsburgh Penguins as vice president of public affairs. He joined Peduto's former chief of staff Kevin Acklin, who is now the Penguins' chief operating officer. McNulty's last day was in June. His replacement, Molly Onufer, left the city late this past fall to take a job at Millcraft Investments as its director of marketing and public relations.

Majestic Lane was Peduto's deputy chief of staff and chief equity officer. He left the positions in September and joined the Allegheny Conference on Community Development as chief equity officer in October.

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Julia Zenkevich
/
90.5 WESA
Majestic Lane was former Mayor Bill Peduto's deputy chief of staff.

Karina Ricks was the director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. In September she joined the Federal Transit Administration as assistant administrator.

Ross Chapman, former director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, left his role in October and became the director of park operations and civic partnerships with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

Some staffers, meanwhile, will remain in city government, but in different posts.

Policy coordinator Alaa Mohamed, for one, will remain in city government, transition to the city's Department of Innovation & Performance, where she will continue work on inclusivity initiatives.

Gisele Betances has moved from her post as community liaison in the Office of Community Affairs to the Department of Public Works, where she will be a community programming coordinator and continue her work on community engagement.

Leah Friedman, who was a community affairs manager at OCA, made a similar shift, taking a post as public engagement coordinator in the city's Planning Department this past fall.