Leadership Additions at MiLEAP Announced

Mar 22, 2024

by Liz Gullett

As MLC’s Communications and Social Media Manager, Liz Gullett keeps clients informed and up-to-date on the goings on in Lansing and the Capitol.

Michelle Richard, Acting Director at the new Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) announced three new members of the department’s leadership team.

New team members:

    • Emily Laidlaw, Deputy Director of Early Education – She previously worked in the Executive Office of the Governor, the Michigan House of Representatives, and doing advocacy work for education groups and organizations.
    • Rawlan Lillard II, Deputy Director of Education Partnerships – He’s joining state government after 30 years in cooperative education and community education in the greater Flint community.
    • Jessica Weare, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Counsel – She previously worked as acting commissioner of the Michigan Lottery, deputy legal counsel to Governor Whitmer, and associate general counsel for Global Trade Compliance at Facebook. Additionally, she worked at the U.S. Department of State and was a judicial clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court.


    • The department was created in July 2023 through an executive order and began operations on December 1, 2023.
    • The goals of the department are to add capacity in early learning, so every child is ready for kindergarten; accelerate progress towards the Sixty by 30 goal (a goal of having 60% of residents obtain a certificate or post-secondary education by 2030); and prioritize community, regional, and state partnerships that help students succeed.
    • It’s comprised of three offices: the Office of Early Childhood Education, the Office of Higher Education, and the Office of Education Partnerships.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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