Brian Durand, a trusted adviser to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy before his first failed gubernatorial campaign in 2006, has been elevated to become Malloy’s third chief of staff.
Durand, 34, is currently deputy chief of staff and will take over the position Sept. 28. He replaces Mark Ojakian, who will leave Sept. 25 to become the fourth president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.
“He has excelled at every challenge and task he has been presented with, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role,” Malloy said of Durand.
Durand was raised in Stamford where he watched Malloy’s 14-year tenure there as mayor and the progress that city made.
“I have never been more proud, a decade later, to be part of this team and a part of this administration,” Durand said.
He said Connecticut has grown more than 80,000 private sector jobs, crime has also dropped to historic lows, and the number of uninsured in the state has “been cut in half.” He attributed those accomplishments to the Malloy administration.
Durand said the staff is never afraid to put in extra hours and knows just how “lucky they are to serve the people of Connecticut.”
Malloy was just as complimentary of Durand.
“Brian was one of my first employees hired, actually I think, the first one we paid in the 2006 campaign for governor,” Malloy said. “He has been with me through every major battle since then.”
Durand helped legalize Sunday alcohol sales while he was with the Office of Policy and Management. Prior to joining the administration he worked for Global Strategies Group, which was in charge of communications for Malloy’s successful 2010 campaign.
Durand’s current salary is $106,000. In his new role as chief of staff, he will make $160,000 a year.
Malloy also thanked Ojakian for his service. Ojakian was the lead negotiator for the state in the 2011 State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition negotiations for a state employee concession package.
Ojakian’s current salary is $189,000. The two-year contract he signed last week with the Board of Regents, which oversees the four state universities, 12 community colleges, and one online college, includes a salary of $335,000 a year.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Ojakian said Monday.
He said he plans to be there for the duration of the contract.
Ojakian was Malloy’s second chief of staff. He followed Tim Bannon who had been in the position for about a year. Ojakian served as Deputy Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, and served as Deputy Comptroller under then-State Comptroller Nancy Wyman for 16 years when she headed that office. He has 35 years of state service.