Gov. Deval Patrick announced Tuesday that he will have a new chief of staff beginning in January.
Brendan Ryan, who is now the administration's director of communications, will take over from Stoughton resident William “Mo” Cowan, who has held the job since January 2011.
Ryan, 31, is the longest serving member of the governor’s senior staff, according to a press release from Patrick's office. He is a graduate of St. Sebastian's School in Needham and Vanderbilt University and worked as Patrick's deputy chief of staff in 2007 and 2008 before leaving to work as Massachusetts political director for President Barack Obama's first campaign. He returned as a special adviser in 2009, and since has worked with the MBTA and then on Patrick's re-election campaign.
“Brendan is well-prepared for this larger role. He has been at my side from the start, is deeply committed to our mission, and has grown tremendously as a leader," Patrick said. "At the same time, he has a hard act to follow. Mo has been an exceptional chief of staff. He has been a brilliant strategist, an effective executive, a wise counsel and a dear friend."
Cowan helped oversee the historic health care cost containment law and the Expanded Gaming Act, according to the press release. He was instrumental in overhauling the state Parole Board, and was responsible for all executive branch legal operations and oversight of judicial nominations.