Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards named Dr. Chaunda Mitchell as his new Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Planning within the Office of the Governor.

In this new role, Dr. Mitchell will oversee constituent services, community outreach, faith-based initiatives, disability affairs, elderly affairs, the office of drug policy, the office of women’s policy, the Louisiana Children’s Cabinet and other program areas within the Governor’s Office. Dr. Mitchell replaces Dr. Adren Wilson, who is leaving the office in March to become the new executive director of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) – the Obama Foundation.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have Dr. Mitchell take this leadership role after so many years of dedicated work on our team,” Gov. Edwards said. “Chaunda is accomplished and passionate about serving the people of Louisiana and ensuring that all people are included as we seek to move our state forward. Her new role oversees a vast array of offices and programs, and I am confident that she is the perfect person for the task.”

“I thank Governor Edwards for the opportunity to serve the people of Louisiana in this new capacity,” said Dr. Mitchell. “All of the departments and their leadership are well positioned for even more success. We will continue positively impacting communities in every part of the state and I look forward to working with Governor Edwards to keep moving in the right direction."

Dr. Mitchell joined Gov. Edwards’ administration in February 2016, serving as the director of the Office of Drug Policy and the Office of Indian Affairs within the Governor’s Office of Programs and Planning. In June 2018, Dr. Mitchell took on the role of Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of Planning and Programs, before being promoted to Director of Planning and Programs in November 2021.

Dr. Mitchell has a doctor of philosophy from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, a master of public administration from LSU and a bachelor of science in biological sciences from Southern University. Prior to serving in Gov. Edwards’ administration, she was the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Office of Diversity at LSU for many years.