Anthony Gherardini

Anthony Gherardini, newly-appointed executive director of the Department of Personnel and Administration. Photo courtesy University of Colorado Denver.

Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday he appointed Anthony Gherardini as executive director of the Department of Personnel & Administration.

Gherardini most recently served as deputy director in the Office of Behavioral Health at the Colorado Department of Human Services. He is replacing Kara Veitch, who was named chief legal counsel to the governor in September.

“We’re thrilled that Tony and his wide range of expertise will be serving in this capacity. While there may not be many opportunities for him to use his talents as an opera singer, we expect him to have frequent occasions to use his skills in organizational management, employee development, and implementing policy,” Polis said in making the announcement. “He will bring his perspective as a former police officer, a soldier, a dad and an emergency manager to this position and we look forward to having him in the role.”

Gherardini was a member of the Lakewood Police Department before joining the Colorado Department of Human Services as the director of safety and emergency management in 2014. He is a former director of operations and cabinet affairs for Polis, and a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor’s Commission on Community Service as a representative of veterans and military affairs.

Gherardini is a former captain in the Army National Guard and served as a military police officer in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. In that role at the Bagram Detention Center, he helped ensure the custody of more than 1,000 detained Afghanis. He holds a masters of public administration with an emphasis on Homeland Security & Emergency Management from the University of Colorado Denver and a bachelor's in political science from Colorado State University.

Before he enrolled at CSU, Gherardini spent a year at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisc. where he was was a vocal performance major, a budding opera singer, composer and performer

Gherardini's appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

The Department of Personnel and Administration manages the state personnel system, compensation and health benefits, as well as managing state records through the State Archives Office. DPA also manages the state Capitol Complex.

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