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12/12/2022 President Ruggerio announces staffing changes

STATE HOUSE, Providence – President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio today announced a number of staffing changes ahead of the 2023 legislative session.

Joseph V. Masino has been promoted to Director of the Senate Policy Office. Mr. Masino had served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President since March of 2021. He previously worked as Director of Boards and Commissions and Deputy Political Director for former Governor Gina Raimondo, Legislative Director for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and Special Projects and Grants Coordinator for Congressman James Langevin. Nora Crowley, who had served as Policy Director since 2020, departed the Senate earlier this month to accept a position at the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

“I am extremely grateful to Nora Crowley for her dedicated service to the Senate. She provided insight and guidance that helped us achieve remarkable progress on a host of important issues during her time here. Workforce development will be a major focus of the Senate in the coming session, and I know how important it is to Nora as well. I look forward to working on this issue with her in her new capacity, and I wish her well as she pursues this work at DLT,” said President Ruggerio.

“I am ecstatic to name Joe Masino as the Senate’s next policy director. I have worked closely with Joe over the past several years in his role as a Deputy Chief of Staff, during which time he has facilitated development of legislation in several key areas, particularly around climate and energy. He will make a great Policy Director, and I look forward to working with him in this new capacity,” President Ruggerio continued.

Michael DeAngelis will be brought on to fill the Deputy Chief of Staff role being vacated by Mr. Masino. Mr. DeAngelis is presently Chief of Staff for US Congressman James Langevin, having previously served as the Congressman’s District Director, Campaign Manager, and Deputy Campaign Manager.

Leslie Smith has been named Administrative Assistant to the Senate President. Ms. Smith is presently Program Services Officer and Executive Assistant to the Medicaid Program Director Kristin Pono Sousa, and she has worked in various administrative capacities for the Medicaid Office and the Legislature in the past.

She will fill a vacancy created with the retirement at the end of this year of Charlotte Desautels, who also serves as a Deputy Chief of Staff.

“I can’t express how fortunate I’ve been to have Charlotte by my side for all these years. She has done so much more than keep everything organized and running efficiently in the Senate. Every day, she has provided me with invaluable guidance. Her steady and calming presence, and her deep devotion to our work in the Senate, will be sorely missed. Charlotte has certainly earned her retirement, and I wish her all the best.”

John Fleming, the Secretary of the Senate, will take on the additional responsibilities of Deputy Chief of Staff that Ms. Desautels had performed.

Kyla M. Pecchia has been named Deputy Legal Counsel. Ms. Pecchia is presently Policy and Legislative Counsel to the Rhode Island Attorney General, and Special Assistant to the Attorney General. She fills a vacancy created with the departure in September of Jenna Giguere.

Justin McCarthy has been named Associate Legal Counsel. Mr. McCarthy had been a legislative aide for the Senate, and his role has been redefined.

“My Senate colleagues and I are blessed to have such a talented, hardworking, and professional staff to support our work. I am excited to welcome the new additions to the team, and I know they are ready to get to work on behalf of the people of Rhode Island.”

For more information, contact:
Daniel Kittredge, Deputy Directory of Communications
State House Room 112
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 276-5516