Joseph K. Alston '98 Named Chief of Staff to RI Governor

From the Providence Journal:

Governor Chafee has tapped Providence lawyer Joseph K. "Kenny" Alston as his new $170,000-a-year chief of staff, following the departure of George Zainyeh last week.

Alston, whose previous salary was about $93,000, worked on Chafee's successful gubernatorial run in 2010 and went on to serve on his transition team before taking on a permanent role in the governor's legal counsel office.

Alston has held a variety of titles during his time in the administration, including deputy executive counsel, special adviser for policy and legislative affairs and, most recently, director of operations in the governor's office.

A Virginia native, Alston attended Brown University and the University of Chicago law school.

Before returning to Rhode Island in 2010, he spent 12 years as a lawyer in New York, serving as senior corporate counsel for Weight Watchers International, deputy general counsel at MortgageIT, and a corporate associate at the law firm of Leboef, Lamb, Green and MacRae.

Alston, who is also a baritone in the Providence Gay Men's Chorus, described his new role this way: "I view my position as really a jack-of-all-trades. I'm really here to support everyone on the staff to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that the governor has all of the best information to make the best choices for the state."