Terre Haute native now Indy's chief deputy mayor
A Terre Haute native and Indiana State University grad will play a key role in guiding Indianapolis as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and in working toward making the city more equitable, inclusive and prosperous.
Taylor Schaffer, graduate of Terre Haute South in 2007 and ISU in 2011, has been appointed chief deputy mayor of Indianapolis and chief of staff for Indy Mayor Joe Hogsett.
She begins those roles Friday.\
"These roles, for me, will not be just about the day-to-day tasks, but more about being a good steward of this community and those that reside here," Schaffer said.
"And coming out of probably one of the most challenging years in [Indianapolis'] 200 year history, I am both grateful for and mindful of the responsibility that comes with this opportunity."
She currently serves the Hogsett administration as deputy chief of staff, where she is senior policy advisor managing all messaging and communications efforts for the mayor’s office and executive branch departments.
She previously served as communications director for the mayor’s office
Prior to joining Hogsett's administration in 2016, Schaffer worked in the private sector for clients ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 Companies developing communications, branding and marketing strategies.
She also serves as board president for the Indianapolis City Market and Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, and is a board member for the IndyHub Foundation.
Schaffer credits both her family and her education in Terre Haute for her civic mindedness and wanting to help others through public administration.
Schaffer's mother pushed her to find something to do while bored her junior year of high school. She volunteered with 14th and Chestnut Community Center from then until her graduation from ISU, where her passion for public service was fostered even more still.
While at ISU Schaffer was crowned Miss ISU in 2010 and an Indy 500 Festival princess in 2011, both accomplishments Schaffer says people in her public life find surprising.
"In many ways my job isn't glamorous, it's having conversations about when salt needs deployed for icy roads, or in the last year about testing sites and deployment of CARES dollars," Schaffer said.
"But every once in a while that part of my past pops up, and everyone seems very amused by it," she said with a laugh.
Reporter Alex Modesitt can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TribStarAlex.