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Yvanna Cancela joins Nevada's governor office as Sisolak's new chief of staff

Yvanna Cancela.PNG
Posted at 1:47 PM, Aug 09, 2021

CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak named Yvanna Cancela as his new chief of staff on Monday.

Cancela replaces Michelle White, who has served as chief of staff since the beginning of his administration in January 2019.

The 33 year old is a former Nevada senator and will join Sisolak’s administration on Sept 1.

"I am thrilled that Yvanna will be returning to the Silver State to serve as my chief of staff. She brings a unique understanding of state government, policy experience, and the ability to build broad coalitions. Most importantly, I know Yvanna is as dedicated as I am to making Nevada a thriving and vibrant place to call home, and I look forward to her knowledge, expertise and guidance when she joins the team,” said Gov. Sisolak. “I want to again thank Michelle for all she has done for me and for this State and I look forward to a smooth transition and continued progress for all Nevadans.”

Cancela returns to Nevada after serving as Principal Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prior to serving at the federal level, she represented District 10 in the Nevada State Senate from 2017 to January 2021, becoming the first Latina to serve in the Nevada Senate.

Before joining the Legislature, Cancela was political director for the Culinary Union, representing tens of thousands of hospitality workers across the state of Nevada.

“I am honored to have the trust of Gov. Sisolak to serve in this important role and for the opportunity to work on behalf of his incredible administration and the more than three million people who call this great state home,” Cancela said. “I remain humbled by the chance to serve the state I love during such a critical time as we work under the Governor’s vision to recover and come back stronger than ever.”

Cancela was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Northwestern University and recently earned her Juris Doctor from UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.

White says she will stay on for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition and will conclude her service in mid-September.