Governor Cabinet Members

Jim Wells
Mr. Wells served as Director of Administration for Governor Sandoval from March 2, 2015 to June 30, 2015 where he oversaw the State budget as well as the management of the human resources, grant management, information technology, purchasing, risk management, public works, buildings and grounds, internal audit, hearings and appeals, victims of crimes and library and archives divisions. The legislatively approved split of the Governor’s Finance Office, consisting of the budget and internal audit divisions, from the Department of Administration was effective July 1, 2015.

Prior to his appointment as Director of Administration, Mr. Wells served as Executive Officer for the State’s Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEPB) for over four years managing the health care benefits for over 65,000 employees, retirees and dependents. Mr. Wells also previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Administration and Finance for the Nevada Department of Education, the Chief Financial Officer for PEBP and the Chief Deputy State Controller. Mr. Wells has over 23 years of governmental accounting experience serving in various capacities with the State of Nevada, the University of Nevada, Reno and the city of Roanoke, Virginia.

Mr. Wells received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Nevada.
Patrick Cates
Patrick Cates was appointed as the Director of the Nevada Department of Administration (D of A) by Governor Brian Sandoval, effective September 14, 2015.

In Patrick’s capacity as D of A Director, he oversees 9 Divisions, 2 Offices, 577 employees, and an annual operating budget of nearly $300 million. The Divisions under Patrick’s direction include: Administrative Services; Enterprise IT Services; Fleet Services; Hearings and Appeals; Human Resource Management; Public Works; Purchasing; Risk Management; and State Library, Archives and Public Records. In addition, the Offices Patrick oversees include the D of A Director’s Office, and the Office of Grant Procurement, Coordination and Management.

Before accepting the position of D of A Director, Patrick served as Deputy Director of the Department of Wildlife for six years and managed administration and support functions to include budgeting, contracting, grants management, facilities management, information technology, engineering, personnel, and operations. Patrick has extensive experience working for the State of Nevada including the Departments of Cultural Affairs, Health and Human Services, Administration and Motor Vehicles. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Jim Barbee
Jim Barbee has worked on policy issues with both the Nevada State Board of Education and the Nevada Legislature. Barbee has served on the National Future Farmers of American Board of Directors and on the Future Farmers of America Foundation Board of Trustees. He has been a teacher and will receive his certificate as a Certified Public Manager (CPM) this month. Barbee has managed millions in grant monies and currently manages three budgets. He has a Masters of Agriculture Science, Agriculture Education from Cal Poly SLO and a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from CSU Chico.
Bruce Breslow
Breslow, previously the Executive Director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, served as Commissioner and administrative law judge for the Transportation Services Agency under former Governor Kenny Guinn. In that post, he helped to restructure an organization once described by columnist George Will as the "worst-run agency in America" through the resolution of case backlogs and stalled applications and by working with transportation industry leaders to resolve concerns. Breslow is also the former Mayor of Sparks, Nevada. As Mayor, Breslow led the effort to revitalize an oil-blighted gravel pit and transform it into one of Sparks' newest recreational attraction, the Sparks Marina. From 2003-2005, he served as chairman of the Employee Management Committee for the State of Nevada. Breslow has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. His private sector experience includes CB Richard Ellis and Commercial Partners of Nevada, real estate services firms. Breslow holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri and is in the Nevada Broadcasting Hall of Fame and has been an international commentator for the last seven summer Olympic Games.
Leo Drozdoff
Drozdoff, Director of Conservation and Natural Resources, was previously the Administrator for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Drozdoff has also served as the Bureau Chief of Mining Regulation and Reclamation, Water Pollution Control and as Deputy Administrator for NDEP's water programs.
Greg Cox
Previously the Deputy Director for the Nevada Department of Corrections, Greg Cox was appointed Director in June of 2011. He has previously served as warden of the High Desert State Prison and the Southern Desert Correctional Center. Prior to moving to Nevada in 2003, Cox was a Senior Public Service Administrator at Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois and held several other leadership position in the corrections field in Illinois. Cox has attended numerous national trainings, including several from the National Institute of Corrections. 
Claudia Vecchio
Vecchio previously served as the tourism director in Ohio where she supervised the overall brand development of state tourism, working closely with the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio Arts Council to create development programs. Vecchio also has an extensive background in marketing, having worked with the Edelman public relations firm in Chicago and Burson-Marsteller in Dallas.
Steve Hill
Hill was previously the Sr. Vice President at CalPortland, a concrete, sand and gravel supplier in the Las Vegas area. During Governor Sandoval’s transition, Hill served as Chair of the Economic Development Policy Committee and advised the Governor, Speaker and Majority Leader on economic development issues in preparation for the 2011 Legislative session.
Dale Erquiaga
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Previously an Interim CEO and Strategic Planner for clients in health care and arts and culture, Erquiaga served as Senior Advisor to the Governor from 2010 to 2012. From 2009 through 2010, Erquiaga was Executive Director, Government Affairs, Public Policy & Strategic Planning for the Clark County School District where he was responsible for the development of the district’s strategic planning and legislative and local government relations. From 2006 to 2009, Erquiaga was the Principal at Get Consensus, LLC, an independent consultancy with clients in five western states including the Nevada Association of School Superintendents and the Clark County School District.
Don Soderberg, Director
Soderberg previously served as the Industrial Relations Administrator, an appointed position within the Department of Business and Industry. He has more than 25 years of legal and regulatory experience which includes eight years as the Chairman of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. He also served terms as Commissioner on the Public Utilities Commission and Nevada Transportation Services Authority.  Soderberg was the the Vice President of Risk Management and Corporate Compliance at Southwest Gas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a juris doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law
Paul Thomsen
Thomsen, who most recently served as Director at Ormat Technologies, was previously a legislative assistant at Lionel Sawyer & Collins. Thomsen has served as a regional representative for United States Senator Harry Reid and was a legislative correspondent for United States Senator Richard H. Bryan. As Director at Ormat, Thomsen directed Ormat’s federal, state, and local legislative, regulatory, and strategic public relations programs and geothermal project development in the U.S. Thomsen received both a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Richard Whitley

Richard Whitley began state service as the senior psychologist for the Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility in 1986. Richard joined the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 1997 within the Health Division’s Bureau of Disease Control and Intervention Services. Richard held several positions within the Health Division before being asked to serve as its Administrator in 2008 by the Governor’s current Chief of Staff and former DHHS Director, Mike Willden. Richard’s responsibilities expanded in 2012 when he was asked to also serve as Administrator for the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services. The two Divisions officially merged in 2013, and Richard became the first Administrator of the newly created Division of Public and Behavioral Health. 

As DHHS Director, Richard oversees the Public Defender’s office and five Divisions which provide both direct services and public assistance programs for Nevadans in need. The Divisions include: Aging and Disability Services, Child and Family Services, Health Care Financing and Policy (aka Medicaid), Public and Behavioral Health, and Welfare and Supportive Services. In total, Richard is responsible for over 5,400 employees and an annual operating budget of over $7.4 billion - nearly one third the entire state budget. While serving as Director, Richard will maintain his responsibilities as Administrator of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Richard holds a Bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, Oregon, and a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, from Western Oregon University.

Sherry L. Rupert
A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Rupert is the Chairwoman of Nevada’s Indian Territory, a marketing arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism. In 2013, Rupert was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce and the White House on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. Rupert is an American Indian of Paiute and Washoe heritage. She was born in Carson City and raised on the Washoe Reservation in Gardnerville, Nevada.
Mark Hutchison
Lt. Governor
As Lieutenant Governor, Mark serves as President of the State Senate. He is also the Chairman of the Commission on Tourism, Vice-Chairman of the State Board of Transportation, a member of the Board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and a member of the Executive Branch Audit Committee. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the National Aerospace States Association.
Troy Dillard
Dillard, a former administrator of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Compliance Enforcement Division, had been serving as Interim Director since November 2012. Dillard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Science from the University of Nevada Reno and graduated from Mineral County High School.
William Burks
Brigadier General
Brigadier General William R. Burks is the Adjutant General for the State of Nevada. As Adjutant General, he is the senior uniformed Nevada National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than 4,000 Nevada Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the Governor, State of Nevada, General Burks serves as the Governor’s principal adviser on all National Guard issues, is responsible for both the federal and state missions of the Nevada National Guard, and serves as the official channel of communication with the National Guard Bureau, Department of the Army, and Department of the Air Force.
Jim Wright
Jim has served as Deputy Director of the Department since July 2011. From February 2011 through October 2011, Wright served as Interim Chief of the Nevada Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. From August of 2006 through July of 2011, Wright served as Chief of the Nevada State Fire Marshal Division.
Daniel Klaich
Daniel Klaich was appointed by the Board of Regents to serve as the NSHE's tenth chancellor on June 18, 2009. He previously held the positions of executive vice chancellor, vice chancellor for legal affairs and administration and chief counsel. Klaich is an attorney, admitted to the bar in Nevada and California and was in private practice for almost 30 years prior to joining the NSHE.
Deonne Contine
Deonne is a native Nevadan who worked as a legal secretary in the San Francisco Bay area before earning her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  In 2000, she returned to Nevada, and in 2005 she earned her Juris Doctor from the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Deonne began her legal career with a clerkship in the 8th Judicial District Court and later served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General.  During her tenure at the Attorney General’s office she represented several state agencies before the Nevada Supreme Court, including two cases in which she successfully obtained reversals of District Court decisions that had been issued against the Department of Taxation.
Kat Miller
Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) Katherine Miller was raised in Reno and served 34 years in the United States Army. Starting as an enlisted soldier, she culminated her military service with assignments as a military police brigade commander serving in the United States and in Afghanistan; and as the Commander of the Department of Defense’s largest correctional organization. After retiring she taught college at the University of Maryland and the University of Nevada, Reno. She served as the Deputy Director for the Nevada Office of Veterans Services prior to accepting appointment as the Executive Director.
Tony Wasley

Wasley, who has worked for NDOW for the last 16 years, is a graduate of California State University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Wildlife Management. Wasley earned his M.S. at Idaho State University in Biology. During his time at the Department, Tony has managed statewide game programs, worked as an area biologist, and participated in research, restoration, enhancement and protection projects for species such as the sage-grouse, mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep. He is a member of The Wildlife Society, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited.

Wasley has been a guest lecturer at University of Nevada, Reno and Great Basin College in Elko, covering a wide range of natural resource topics including wildlife ecology, geographic information systems, and population genetics. Over the past 22 years, he has conducted and assisted with research in Nevada, Alaska, California, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, Kansas and Arizona. He has had works published in the Journal of Mammalogy and made numerous presentations at Annual Conferences of the Wildlife Society.