Suzanna Shkreli Appointed by Michigan Governor to Head State’s Lottery Agency

Jessica Aletor
Jessica Aletor


  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a series of cabinet appointments, including Suzanna Shkreli as the new head of the Michigan Lottery Commission.
  • Shkreli was named Lottery Commissioner in February, with the appointment effective March 1, subject to Senate confirmation.
  • Suzanna Shkreli was formerly the Director of Juvenile Reform and is poised to bring a wealth of public service to her new role.

As February ended, Governor Gretchen Whitmer made several significant changes to her cabinet. This reshuffling saw the executive governor make eight fresh appointments, including the naming of a new Lottery Commissioner in person of Suzanna Shkreli.

With effect from March 1, Shkreli, the incoming Lottery Commissioner, is set to become a part of the Governor’s cabinet. The new appointee previously worked in juvenile systems. Just before her selection, she was the former Director of Juvenile Justice Reform, a department domiciled within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The current acting commissioner of Juvenile Justice Reform, Jessica Weare, is set to step down for a newly appointed substantive commissioner, Suzanna Shkreli. Weare will be resuming a new position within the state government, with an announcement due this March. 

Suzanna Shkreli is enthusiastic about taking up the new position with Michigan as she looks forward to delivering more impressive results for children’s education through the Lottery Fund.  

“It is a tremendous honor to continue the longstanding work of the Michigan Lottery,” the incoming Lottery Commissioner said in a press release published on the state’s official website.  

Shkreli has further expressed her intent to collaborate with stakeholders in the sector as she hopes to continue the Michigan Lottery’s contribution to education.  

“I look forward to working closely with local vendors and retailers who are vital to the success of the program. Under Governor Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan Lottery continues to deliver record results for our children’s education across the state – with more than $1.3 billion from the Lottery going to schools last year,” Shkreli said.  

“I’m thankful to Governor Whitmer for the opportunity to serve in this new role and I look forward to working with the entire Lottery team to continue this success.” 

The installation, like all other cabinet appointments made by the governor, will be subject to advice and consent of the Senate.  

Governor’s Pick for Michigan Lottery Commissioner Instrumental to Expansion of Michigan Juvenile Justice System 

Prior to her new appointment with Michigan Lottery, Shkreli served as the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) Juvenile Justice Reform program.

In that position, she was charged with the responsibility of tackling the deep-seated and ongoing challenges within the juvenile justice system. Her duties also included putting into action the suggestions proposed by the Juvenile Justice Task Force.

Thanks to her work as director, close to 100 new spots have been created in the past year for youth in the juvenile justice system. In addition, the State of Michigan is poised to obtain $850,000 in federal grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), aiding Michigan's progress in its reform initiatives.

Before her tenure at MDHHS, Shkreli held the position of Children's Ombudsman for Michigan and was also a deputy legal advisor in the Governor's Executive Office. Her experience includes working as an assistant prosecutor for the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office before her involvement in state government.

Shkreli completed her education at Oakland University and earned her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Shkreli currently holds a position on the Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, where she leads the training subcommittee focused on developing protocols for child fatality.

In announcing the cabinet appointment, Governor Whitmer commended office holders who have made a difference in the life of Michiganders.  

“Michigan is on the move because of Michiganders who get things done that make a real difference in people’s lives. I am so excited to welcome Marlon and Suzy to their leadership roles. Both of them have spent their careers working to make our state government more efficient and effective,” Governor Whitmer said. “Together, we are going to keep our foot on the accelerator and move Michigan forward.”  

This appointment comes on the back of tremendous revenues from Michigan online casinos and the Lottery. Quite notably, the state’s Lottery continued its tradition of providing the School Aid Fund with a minimum of $1 billion for the fifth consecutive year. The Lottery donated $1.3 billion in 2023.

During Fiscal Year 2023, the fund supported public education with 27 cents of every dollar purchased on a Michigan Lottery ticket. The Michigan Lottery has also contributed more than $6.2 billion to the School Aid Fund over the last five years, with a record-breaking $1.419 billion coming in 2021.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments