As The Capitolist reported Monday, Gov. Rick Scott today confirmed that Communications Director Jackie Shutz Zeckman will take over as his new chief of staff later this summer. The announcement comes a day after Kim McDougal, the current chief of staff, announced she is leaving the post to explore opportunities in the private sector.
“Jackie has been on my team since my first year in office and has done a great job leading my communications efforts and conveying my vision of Florida as the best destination for families and businesses,” Scott said in a statement released by his office. “Along with her work on my communications team, Jackie was an integral part of my reelection efforts and has continued to be a trusted advisor in all aspects of implementing our agenda for Florida. I have full confidence that she will do an outstanding job as my Chief of Staff.”
Schutz Zeckman began working for Scott in 2011 as deputy press secretary before assuming the title of press secretary..
In 2014 she left the Governor’s Office to work for Scott’s reelection campaign as deputy communications director.
After helping the governor defeat Charlie Crist, Schutz Zeckman returned to the Capitol and was named the governor’s communications director.
Before going to work for Scott, Schutz Zeckam worked at Tallahassee public relations firm CoreMessage.
Schutz Zeckman, a native of St. Pete Beach, graduated from Florida State University with a degree in political science and religion. She went on to earn a master’s degree in political communications from the London School of Economics.
News of the change in the chief of staff position is expected to be just the beginning of a number of staffing moves to be announced by Scott in the coming days.. The governor is also expected to be close to making key agency head appointments at the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Schutz Zeckman will take over her new duties when McDougal steps down as chief of staff on July 1. She will become the sixth person to hold that post in Scott’s seven years in office.
The change at the top level of the Scott administration comes as the governor prepares to head into the last 18 months of his second and final term.