Mark Ojakian, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s chief of staff, is stepping down.
It’s unclear at the moment if the man known for his cheery disposition and endless optimism will be leaving state service. Ojakian did not respond to an interview request.
Ojakian, a longtime adviser to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and former deputy state comptroller, replaced Tim Bannon as Malloy’s chief of staff in January 2012.
“I will miss working with Mark on a daily basis, but I understand it is time for him to turn the page to a different chapter in his life,” Malloy said in a press release. “Mark has been one of my most trusted friends and advisors.”
Ojakian negotiated the concession package with the state employee unions during Malloy’s first year in office. Malloy also credited him for his work on increasing the minimum wage, implementing paid sick leave, and reforming the criminal justice system.
“It has been an honor to serve Governor Malloy,” Ojakian said in a press release. “He is not only a dedicated, hardworking public servant who has put our state on the path of progress, but he has also been a great friend.”
Ojakian attended St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, N.H., where he received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1975. He also studied at the American University in Washington where he received a master’s degree in international relations in 1977.
He has two children, Brandon and Kyle, and two grandchildren, Connor and Madison.