OSIT Staff

Brian Mitchell


Brian Mitchell leads Nevada’s STEM education and workforce development programs as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology. In this role, Brian manages a $14 million workforce development grant program and has funded the creation of 52 new STEM postsecondary training programs in high-demand career fields over the last four years. Brian has also developed programs that create pathways from high school to college, help elementary teachers integrate engineering design into daily classroom instruction, and provide strategic planning assistance to aspiring STEM schools. Passionate about equity, Brian is currently collaborating with stakeholders to develop new strategies to increase recruitment, retention, and completion rates of underrepresented students in postsecondary STEM programs. Brian also oversees the development and expansion of broadband infrastructure in Nevada, with a focus on connecting rural schools and health clinics. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mitchell served as an education advisor to the Governor during Nevada’s 2015 legislative session when the Governor and Legislature made a $450 million investment in education and workforce development. Prior, Mr. Mitchell served as a senior advisor in Nevada’s Washington DC office, representing the State to Congress and the executive branch on education, workforce, healthcare, and homeland security issues. When not geeking out on policy, you can probably find Brian exploring a National Park with his wife and four kids.

Tracey Howard

STEM Program Director

Tracey Howard is the STEM Program Manager for the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology. In this role, she works with teachers and administrators to implement best practices in STEM classroom instruction as well as with schools seeking to receive the Governor’s STEM School designation. She also manages OSIT’s grants and funding opportunities. Tracey previously worked as an elementary teacher and as a STEM Instructional Specialist with a focus on Project-Based Learning. She holds a Master of Education in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in STEM Education, the latter of which she earned as part of the Lemelson Cohort IV at the University of Nevada, Reno. Through all of her work with Nevada’s teachers and students, she is driven by her passion to increase access to STEM for all of Nevada’s students. Tracey lives in the Tahoe area and in her down time, she enjoys exploring what the Sierra has to offer!

Debra Petrelli

Administrative Assistant III

Debbie joined the staff of the Governor's Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology after relocating to Reno from Henderson, Nevada. Prior to moving to northern Nevada, she was with a mechanical/electrical engineering firm in Henderson for 14 years as the owner's Executive Assistant. Previously, Ms. Petrelli was a legal secretary for a Reno law firm and during the 2001 Nevada Legislative Session, served as a Committee Secretary for Senate Finance. Prior, while living in Ely, she was the Executive Legal Secretary for the Seventh Judicial District Court, and previous to that she was with the White Pine County DA's office as Child Support Coordinator for White Pine, Lincoln and Eureka Counties. Debbie and her husband enjoy road trips back to Ely and Las Vegas to visit family and friends.