Governor Ducey Announces Senior Staff Changes

News Release

December 13, 2018

PHOENIX -- Governor Doug Ducey today announced the promotion of two of his current senior staff members: Dawn Wallace and Daniel Ruiz, and the addition of Patrick Ptak to his senior staff.

Dawn Wallace will serve as Special Assistant to the Governor. In her new and expanded role, Wallace will continue to advise on the policy, legislative and budget issues related to K-12 and higher education and oversee the public partnership projects of the Governor’s Office of Education. Additionally, her portfolio will grow to include responsibilities such as serving as chief protocol officer for the governor, managing special events, speaking engagements, and travel for the governor and the first lady, and providing counsel to the Governor and Chief of Staff on a broad base of policy initiatives.

“Dawn joined my team at the start of our first term in office, and quickly became an invaluable member of my senior staff. Her work building relationships with Arizona stakeholders, including the education and philanthropic community, has been vital to the success of our education agenda -- including settling a long-standing lawsuit and investing $3.5 billion in our public school system and most recently, our efforts to increase teacher pay 20% by 2020,” said Governor Ducey. “As we embark on an ambitious policy agenda, Dawn’s driven approach to public service will be important to our success.”

Wallace brings a rich background in education, budget and state government. She has served as Senior Budget Analyst for the Arizona Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting in two previous gubernatorial administrations before serving as the Deputy Director of Research Staff in the Arizona State Senate and the Majority Policy Advisor for two Arizona House Speakers. Prior to joining Governor Ducey’s staff in 2015, she served as the Director of Government Relations for the Maricopa County Community Colleges. Most recently she served as the governor’s Senior Advisor for Education and Strategic Initiatives.

Daniel Ruiz will serve in an expanded role as Senior Advisor to the Governor, serving as chief of the communications and constituent services offices, advising the Governor on policy and operations matters, and leading special projects and initiatives for the Chief of Staff. Daniel previously served as senior advisor for policy strategy and as interim communications director.

"Daniel is a dynamic leader, and has established strong working relationships across state government. Combined with his keen ability to develop strategic policy and communication plans, he's become an invaluable advisor to our team," said Governor Ducey. "In this new role, Daniel will advise and develop strategy on a broader scale, advancing our ambitious agenda of continued growth and opportunity for Arizonans."

Prior to joining the governor’s office in 2015, Ruiz was employed with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office as Director of Communications and Public Affairs. Daniel also served the Citizens Clean Elections Commission in various capacities including Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director. Earlier this year Daniel, a Flinn-Brown Fellow, received the 2018 Jack B. Jewett Public Service Award from the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, and was named a 2018 Breakout by the Arizona Capitol Times for his work taking on complex and challenging public policy issues.

Patrick Ptak will serve as Director of Communications. Ptak previously served as Senior Press Secretary and Spokesman from 2017 to 2018 before joining the governor’s 2018 campaign team as Communications Director, managing the communications office and serving as the main point of contact to the media.

“Patrick is a proven communicator with a strong work ethic, having been an important part of our communications team both in the Governor's Office and on the campaign,” said Governor Ducey. “His experience working with the press and understanding of Arizona's issues make him a solid choice to effectively communicate the priorities of the Governor's Office going forward.”

Originally from Illinois, Patrick previously served on Representative Martha McSally’s campaign team in 2014 and 2016, and in her congressional office as Communications Director. Prior to his work with McSally, Patrick worked in the office of Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton.