Shake-Up in the Governor's Office: Rauner Gets New Chief of Staff

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Monday that his chief of staff is leaving the governor's office. 

Richard Goldberg, who served a three-plus year term as senior adviser to the Rauner 2014 campaign and Chief of Staff for the governor, will be "transitioning back to foreign policy, national security and consulting," the governor's office said.

He will be replaced by Kristina Rasmussen from the Illinois Policy Institute.

“Rich is one of the most talented policy, political and communications advisors I’ve ever met and I will forever be indebted to his faithful public service for the last three and a half years,” Rauner said in a statement. “I respect his decision to return to national security, foreign policy and consulting. Diana and I will always value his counsel and we wish him the best of luck in his next adventure.”

The timing comes on the heels of the Illinois budget vote. While political observers are divided over whether the more than two-year impasse is a political win or loss for Rauner's re-election efforts, this change signals a new direction at a critical time.

Ward Room has learned this is likely to not be the only personnel change to take place in the governor's office. By choosing Rasmussen, the governor is signaling a more conservative direction. One source close to the governor's office says "these are not middle of the road people."

Goldberg worked previously as Deputy Chief of Staff for then-Senator Mark Kirk and also serves as a Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer.

Rasmussen, a graduate of George Washington University and Randolph-Macon Woman's College, worked previously as director of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union and served as president and chief operating officer for the Illinois Policy Institute. 

“Kristina has worked tirelessly to defend taxpayers over the course of her career,” Rauner said in a statement. “Her record of achievement speaks for itself, both nationally and right here in the Prairie State. My vision has always been for an Illinois that is prosperous and compassionate, with a state government that serves the people, rather than the other way around. That’s Kristina’s vision too, and that’s why I have appointed her my next Chief of Staff.”

Rasmussen's appointment takes effect Monday. 

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