A member of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s communications staff will become the new spokeswoman for the state’s merged public university and college system.

Juliet Manalan of Wethersfield, who is Malloy’s press secretary and has worked in the governor’s communications office since January 2011, will assume her new post with the Board of Regents for Higher Education next month, the governor’s office confirmed Friday.

Manalan replaces Colleen Flanagan Johnson, who left the regents’ office in late June to become director of corporate communications for Magellan Health Services of Avon.

Samaia Hernandez of Manchester, a reporter/producer with WNPR and formerly a reporter with the Hartford Courant and the Meriden Record-Journal will become press secretary in the governor’s office.

David Bednarz, who has been Malloy’s deputy press secretary for the past 2 ½ years, will remain with the office, but his duties will be expanded to include new work in digital media.

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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