Governor Parson Names Stephanie Whitaker as Communications Director, Johnathan Shiflett as Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – Today, following his announcement of Kelli Jones as his Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor Mike Parson announced that he has named Stephanie Whitaker as his new Communications Director and Johnathan Shiflett as his Deputy Communications Director and Press Secretary for the Office of Governor.
Communications Director: Stephanie Whitaker
Whitaker joined Governor Parson’s team after he became Governor in June 2018. Since then, she has served as Communications Assistant, Communications Specialist, and most recently as Deputy Communications Director.
“Stephanie joined our team early on in what seemed like the blur of our new administration. She got right to work and has been an integral member of the team ever since,” Governor Parson said. “She’s a hard worker who always gets things done. We’ve enjoyed having her on the team, and we’re excited for this new opportunity in front of her. We are confident that she will lead our communications team with the same conviction and compassion she has held since the very beginning.”
Whitaker has served as Governor Parson’s Deputy Communications Director since July 2021. She has managed all of Governor Parson’s social media pages, helped lead communications efforts across Missouri’s 17 Executive Branch agencies, and helped spearhead the early development of the Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan’s communications campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other duties.
Before joining the Office of Governor, Whitaker was a member of the Elections Division with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office and, before that, was a National Proposal Specialist for BKD, LLP (now FORVIS, LLP). Whitaker earned a Bachelor of Arts in political communication from Evangel University.
Deputy Communications Director and Press Secretary: Johnathan Shiflett
Shiflett first joined the Office of Governor in January 2020 as a Communications and Policy Intern while pursuing his undergraduate degree. He has been with the Office ever since, serving as a Communications and Policy Specialist as well as State-Federal Affairs Liaison.
“Since the day Johnathan first joined our Office as an intern, it has truly been a joy watching him grow as a young professional,” Governor Parson said. “Coming from rural Missouri like me, Johnathan works hard, is always willing to learn something new, and has reliably stepped up to fill the gaps whenever we’ve called. We’re confident in his abilities and look forward to him continuing our Administration's high level of coordination and respect with the media as our Office's lead spokesperson.”
Shiflett, a native of Meadville, Mo., has been responsible for drafts of all communications content for the Office, including press releases, media advisories, speeches, and more. He earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture business management and public policy from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“I have full faith in Stephanie’s and Johnathan’s abilities and know I’m leaving the day-to-day leadership of our communications team in good hands," Kelli Jones, Governor’s Office Deputy Chief of Staff, said. "These two are loyal, hard-working, and dedicated public servants for all Missourians. There aren't many I'd trust to hand over the reigns to, but with these two there is no doubt. I know they'll continue to make Governor Parson and the state of Missouri proud."
Shiflett will begin serving as the main media point of contact and spokesperson for the Governor's Office with immediate effect.
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