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McLean taps new Directors of Community Partnerships & Communication

Mayor Lauren McLean is bringing on two new key staff members in the mayor’s office. 

Next month, longtime Treasure Valley journalist Justin Corr will take over as the Communications Director and Jannus, Inc.’s Economic Opportunity Director Kate Nelson will come on board as the Director of Community Partnerships. Both are the third official to serve in their respective jobs in the McLean administration. 

[With growth & federal funds, City of Boise will add a dozen new positions]

Corr will oversee external communication across the City of Boise’s departments and serve as McLean’s press secretary. He has nearly twenty years of experience in communications and journalism, with a most recent stint as a communications specialist at Boise-based firm Bilao & Co. He also spent thirteen years in a variety of roles at KTVB, including reporting on the statehouse, anchoring news and sports reports and hosting a variety of events. He later moved to Springfield Missouri as the morning anchor for KY3/KSPR-TV from 2015 to 2019.

He returned to his hometown of Boise with his family after four years away.

Corr will take over for Seth Ogilvie in the role after the former Idaho Public Television journalist resigned over the summer after roughly a year on the job. Prior to Ogilvie, McLean tapped Karen Boe, a former spokesperson for the Mayor of Salt Lake City, as her press secretary. She resigned in July 2020 after four months of work.

Kate Nelson hops from Jannus

In her new role as the Director of Community Partnerships, Nelson will develop “community-focused initiatives” that support the city’s community outreach programs. This job has traditionally overseen the city’s partnerships to address homelessness in Ada County. The press release announcing her appointment said Nelson will work with neighborhood associations, faith-based groups, schools, refugee support organizations, nonprofits and other government agencies involved in “education, livability, healthcare and social services.”

At Jannus, Nelson oversaw a team working on “economic mobility” for low-income families and communities by developing “agile and holistic direct services” to support entrepreneurship, credit building and early childhood education. She is also the founder and director of the Starling Project, which focuses on developing leadership opportunities for college-educated women who have come to the United States as refugees. Participants in the program are paired with Treasure Valley mentors who help build their professional networks and build skills.

She has served as a Commissioner for urban renewal agency Capital City Development Corporation since 2019 and is a policy advisory member for the Idaho Child Care Program. Nelson will vacate her seat on CCDC due to her new role with the Mayor’s Office and McLean is currently searching for new applicants.

Nelson follows Shirley O’Neil, a licensed clinical professional counselor, in the job. Prior to O’Neil’s appointment, the role was filled by former CATCH Executive Director Wyatt Schroeder. Schroeder was a holdover from former Mayor Dave Bieter’s administration and resigned in April 2020.

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Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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