Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava recently announced two key appointments in her administration focused on innovation, social equity, and economic recovery and development.
Rahel Weldeyesus, former chief of staff in the District 8 commission office, will step into a new role as senior advisor for Innovation and Performance, and George Andrews, chief of staff to the president at Miami Dade College, will join the team as senior advisor for Policy. Both senior advisors will report directly to the mayor.
As senior advisor for Innovation and Performance, Weldeyesus will work across departments to drive innovation within county government and bring citizen-led, impact-driven problem-solving to Miami-Dade’s biggest challenges.
Her portfolio includes strategic planning and performance management within the Office of Management and Budget, along with two landmark new offices being formed under Mayor Levine Cava’s administration — the Office of Equity and Inclusion and Office of Community Engagement. She also will help lead the mayor’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
As senior advisor for Policy, Andrews will collaborate closely with department directors and community stakeholders to advance the mayor’s policy agenda, and ensure strong collaboration and dialogue across federal, state, county and city governments, business, and academia. His portfolio includes Economic Development, the Office of Resilience, and Intergovernmental Affairs, and he will act as a liaison to Planning to ensure policy coordination.
“As we look to not only help our economy rebound from this difficult period but emerge a stronger community in the long term, we need to put equity and inclusion first in everything we do,” said Mayor Levine Cava. “And to deliver on meaningful change for residents we need to center new ideas and creative solutions from within the community we serve. Rahel brings deep policy knowledge and experience running nationally recognized, results-driven nonprofit programs to this new role helping shape a more inclusive and innovative local government.
“George has helped shepherd the growth and success of one of our community’s largest and most complex institutions, Miami Dade College. His strength building relationships with diverse stakeholders across the county will help ensure our local government is more in sync with the needs and priorities of residents and businesses, and that we are working together toward a common goal — building a stronger, more resilient local economy,” the mayor said.
“Mayor Levine Cava has a bold vision to tackle systemic social, racial, and economic disparities in Miami-Dade, to build a more equitable foundation where all families can thrive,” Weldeyesus said. “I’m excited to bring an innovation mindset to some of our toughest challenges, while engaging directly with residents to craft and implement community-led solutions and make our government more transparent.”
Andrews said, “To deliver on an economic policy agenda that will uplift all Miami-Dade businesses and families, and to get us through this current moment of crisis, we need deep collaboration across sectors. I’m proud to bring my experience working across higher education, business, government, and healthcare to implementing Mayor Levine Cava’s priorities, to rebound our economy safely and build back stronger.”
Weldeyesus has over 15 years of experience in strategic planning, performance management, managing multi-million dollar budgets, and designing and running innovative programs within government and nonprofit settings. For the past five years she worked closely alongside then-Commissioner Levine Cava as chief of staff and before that as Community Engagement director, creating and launching groundbreaking programs to directly benefit Miami-Dade families and businesses — including Accelerate South Dade, the first small business and nonprofit incubator of its kind in the county, and the Nonprofit and Small Business Academies. She also served as policy lead on law enforcement and police-community relations.
Prior to joining Miami-Dade County government she held senior leadership roles within nonprofits focused on building coalitions and implementing data-based models to tackle social issues like gun violence prevention and prisoner recidivism. She received her BA from the University of Chicago and her master’s in Public Administration from Florida International University.
Andrews comes to the county from the Office of the President at Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest community college, where he has served as chief of staff for the last 16 years. In that role Andrews worked to implement the college’s strategic priorities as the key link between the Office of the President and all major internal and external stakeholders, including the White House and federal agencies, local government, and local industry, and managed a several-million-dollar budget.
Andrews is the former vice president of the South Florida Hospital and Health Care Association and a current board member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. He received his BS from the University of Central Florida and his MBA from the University of Miami.