This story originally appeared in The Philadelphia Tribune.
On Monday, Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker named Tiffany Thurman, a government affairs executive at a non-profit group, as chief of staff and two of her top campaign aides as deputy mayors.
Sincere Harris has been named chief deputy mayor of intergovernmental affairs, sustainability and engagement and Aren Platt was named chief deputy mayor of planning and strategic initiatives.
Both are co-directors of the Parker transition team.
In a statement, Parker described the appointments as “her big three,” and said they would be “at the top of the Parker Administration’s organizational chart.”
A vice president of government relations at the Greater Philadelphia YMCA, Thurman is a senior advisor for the Parker transition. Thurman has an extensive background in government and the private sector, having worked at Accenture, LLC and as the former chief of staff for the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department.
When Parker served in the state legislature, Thurman was appointed executive director of the Philadelphia Delegation to the House of Representatives.
“Once again Mayor-elect Parker has shown that she is committed to building a team with the requisite experience,” said State Sen. Sharif Street, D-3rd District. “I’m happy and excited for Tiffany, who is a great choice, and even more excited for the people of Philadelphia.”
Maurice Floyd, a long-time political operative, the state chief of staff typically serves as the organizer for the mayor’s agenda and a gate keeper for the cabinet members.
“It’s a huge job. A lot the mayor’s initiatives will be run through the chief of staff,” Floyd said. It will be her responsibility to make sure they succeed. “Most the commissioners will be calling the chief of staff directly.”
Parker said each of her appointees will bring something unique to the administration.
“Tiffany brings experience in state and city government and in one of the biggest non-profits in the region,” Parker said. “Sincere brings experience in state and federal government, as well as relationships across the region and Aren brings experience in policy and business, having served in the e-suite of one of the premier Philadelphia companies.”
On the campaign trail, Parker spoke a lot about intergovernmental cooperation. Earlier this month, she named an intergovernmental roundtable that included many of the elected officials in city, state and federal government.
Harris has experience in a similar position in the Biden-Harris White House and previously held a position in the administration of former Gov. Tim Wolf.
On Jan. 2, Parker, City Council members, and other city elected officials will be sworn at the inauguration at the Met in north Philadelphia.
“No one like me has ever been elected mayor of our city, and no one has ever organized their senior staff this was – but I was elected to fulfill promises made to the people of Philadelphia, and these are the people to do it,” Parker said. “With the announcement of this team leading my administration, I am excited that we will be taking one of the biggest steps toward making our city the safest, cleanest and greenest city in the nation, with economic opportunity for all.”