Ready to take office in Tallahassee next week, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis added to his team on Wednesday as he announced some staffers who will work in the Executive Office of the Governor.

DeSantis announced that Chris Spencer is coming aboard as policy director while Justin Caporale will serve as director of external affairs. Amanda Emmons takes over as director of scheduling while Makenzi Mahler will be director of appointments.

“This team of qualified, dedicated and talented individuals will help us deliver on the issues that matter most to Floridians from economic growth to water quality and more,” said Ron DeSantis. “I’m proud to announce their service to our state and I have every confidence in their commitment to the people of Florida.”

Spencer has been working with DeSantis on his transition team. He has experience working in both chambers of the Florida Legislature including as an aide to state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

Caporale is the current executive director of the DeSantis inauguration. Before that, he worked on the DeSantis advance team but he also has connections to President Donald Trump, working as a Special Assistant to the President and the Director of Operations for the East Wing. He also worked as chief of staff and director of operations for Concerned Veterans for America.

Emmons will not be new to her responsibilities as she served as director of scheduling for the DeSantis campaign and for his transition efforts. She also worked for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as a staff assistant.

Mahler is the deputy director of recruiting for the DeSantis transition effort and had been deputy finance director of his campaign. Before that, she worked for the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) helping efforts to keep the state House in the GOP’s control.

“This is a talented group of individuals who have demonstrated the aptitude to serve not only the Governor-elect, but the people of Florida with distinction,” said Susie Wiles, the executive director of the DeSantis-Nuñez transition team.

Kevin Derby can be reached at

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