Governor-Elect Peter Shumlin announced today that Susan Allen and Bianca Slota will take positions on his Executive Office staff. Allen, who has worked as a reporter, editorial writer, and columnist, and is currently the Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont, will be Special Assistant to the Governor with responsibilities that include policy work and communications strategies. Slota, previously a reporter for WCAX television, will serve as press secretary.Allen has worked as a political reporter, editorial writer and columnist at the Burlington Free Press and the Associated Press since transferring to Vermont from USA TODAY in 1986. She hosted Vermont Public Television’s live-format television program “Call the Governor.’ Most recently she worked as a reporter and editor of the Barre Montpelier Times Argus before becoming Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont, a Montpelier-based non-profit organization, in April. She served as former Gov. Howard Dean’s press secretary from 1997 to 2002, and has extensive experience in Vermont state government. Her salary will be $60,000.Slota joined the WCAX news team as a general assignment reporter in 2007, and she anchored the Channel 3 News at 6 and 11 p.m. on Sundays. She also worked at television stations in Alaska after graduating from the University of Maryland in 2005 with a degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to day-to-day press responsibilities, Slota will focus on new media and web-based communications to enable Vermonters to contribute ideas and communicate with state government in new ways. Her salary will be $45,000.