SPRINGFIELD — Three new agency directors and another deputy governor were named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker Thursday.
Pritzker appointed Sol Flores as a deputy governor. Flores is founder of La Casa Norte in Chicago, a non-profit organization that has helped 30,000 youth and families confronting homelessness. The organization also provides assistance to single parents, domestic violence victims and abandoned youth. Flores, who was recognized by former President Barack Obama, also serves on the boards of the Latino Policy Forum, Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, Community Renewal Society, Hispanic Housing Development corporation and Kuumba Lynx.
Flores will join Dan Hynes, Christian Mitchell and Jesse Ruiz as deputy governors in the Pritzker administration.
Pritzker named John Kim, a 25-year veteran of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, to head the department. He is currently chief legal counsel for the agency, but has also served as director, interim director, ethics officer and project manager for an IEPA-China pollution prevention project.
Kim, who has a law degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, has also been general counsel at the Department of Agriculture and an assistant attorney general.
A member of the city of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame has been appointed director of the Department of Human Rights. Jim Bennett has served as Midwest regional director of Lambda Legal, the largest legal organization dedicated to securing full civil rights for the LGBTQ community. In 2013 he chaired Illinois Unites for Marriage, the coalition that worked to bring same-sex marriage to Illinois.
Bennett holds a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Pritzker named Michael Kleinik to serve as director of the Department of Labor. Kleinik is currently executive director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois. He previously was executive director of the Chicago Laborers' District Council's labor management cooperation committee. Kleinik also served two terms as Fayette County sheriff.
Kim, Bennett and Kleinik must all receive Senate approval.
Pritzker has now filled 12 of the 27 agency director positions.