STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Samuel Adepoju is the new District Representative for Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ). Samuel was previously a Building Manager at Rutgers University where he also earned his BA in Urban Studies and Affairs in 2019.

Allison Dong (Screenshot from Facebook).

Taking on new duties as Digital Communications Assistant in Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) office is Allison Dong. This is Allison’s first job on Capitol Hill, after tenure at the Department of Defense (DOD) as a National Security and Innovation Fellow. Allison’s BA in International and Global Studies is from the University of Indiana. She was also a Public Diplomacy intern at the Department of State in 2018.

Julia Prus has saddled up with Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) as a Tax Legislative Assistant, following her tenure at the Department of the Treasury as a Special Adviser for Legislative Affairs. Julia is a 2016 graduate of Miami University (Ohio) with a BA in Political Science. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Meredith Pohl (Screenshot from Facebook).

There’s a new Texan on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, namely, Meredith Pohl, who joins the staff as Counsel. Meredith was previously clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She is a 2018 graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School and earned her BA in Political Science and Government from Purdue University in 2015.

Coming on board as Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, working for Ranking Minority Member Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is David Mapp. Serving as Special Counsel is David’s first position in Congress.

Tameka Barber comes on board the staff of Rep. David Scott (D-GA) as a Constituent Services Representative. Tameka earned her MS in Leadership/Project Management in 2011 from Walden University and her BS in Psychology in 1997 from Howard University.

Andrea Jones has saddled up with Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) as a Policy Adviser for the Values Action Team. Previously, Andrea was a Research Assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She earned her BA in Political Science and Government in 2017 from Liberty University where her tenure also included a project abroad at Oxford University.


LOOKING FOR A HILL JOB?

Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)

WORKING ON THE HILL: What A Conversation Today Between Thomas Jefferson And Martin Luther King Jr. Might Be Like

By Bret Bernhardt

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Working on Capitol Hill provides many opportunities unlike those found in other workplaces.  Recently, my wife and I along with a close friend took a bike ride around the Tidal Basin where the monuments of Martin Luther King and Thomas Jefferson stand.

It struck me that these two men now stand juxtaposed via their monuments across from one another and I wondered what conversations they might be having.

Jefferson, the father of the Declaration of Independence championed the ideals of freedom and equality, yet was a living contradiction as a slave-holding Virginian.  While he attempted to reconcile this glaring incongruity, he died without doing so. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: What A Conversation Today Between Thomas Jefferson And Martin Luther King Jr. Might Be Like”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Austin Heitzinger is the new Staff Assistant in the office of Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). Austin was previously a Public Affairs Intern for SKDKnickerbocker. He also has extensive campaign experience in Oklahoma. He earned his BA from Central State University in Oklahoma in Political Science and Government in 2018, and he will complete his MA in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University in 2021.

Mollie Cramer (Screenshot from Facebook).

Mollie Cramer moves up from an Internship to Press Assistant for Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). She previously did an Internship in 2017 with Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL). Mollie graduated this year with a BA in Political Science and Government from Cornell.

Mark McKinnon is now National Security Adviser to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). Previously, Mark was an adviser to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in the Pentagon. He is a University of Mississippi graduate. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

Bipartisan Duo Of Former Hill Aides Say Mandatory Covid Testing Needed For Members And Staff

Kendra Barkoff Lamy is a former press secretary for then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE). Doug Heye was deputy chief of staff for then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). There’s not much politically on which these two agreed.

But they both contend it’s past time for Congress to adopt a program of mandatory Covid testing for Members and staffers. Writing on the Opinion pages of the Washington Post, Lamy and Heye contend:

“Frequent testing, with rapid results, would cut the risk not only on Capitol Hill but in every related community across the country. With more testing, exponentially more American lives may be saved through reduced spread. Frequent testing would also set an example of transparency and taking Covid-19 seriously. Anything short of that fails all of us.

“We are not medical professionals, but we know that Congress can act swiftly to mitigate health threats, just as members and staff were quickly protected after letters containing anthrax were mailed to congressional offices in 2001. Congress should institute mandatory testing and make wearing a mask mandatory on Capitol grounds.”

Go here for the rest of the Lamy/Heye oped.


 

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Christopher Cox (Screenshot from Legistorm).

Got a question about Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) concerning her views on civil rights, native Americans, technology, health or families (and lots of other issues as well)? Then the person you need to talk to is Christopher Cox, Clarke’s new Senior Policy Adviser. He is moving up from being Clarke’s Senior Legislative Assistant. Christopher is a 2016 MPH graduate of Jackson State University in health policy and management, and he earned his BA in political science and legal studies in 2013, also from Jackson State University.

Sheresh Khan (Screenshot from Facebook).

Sheresh Khan is the new Legislative Director for Rep. Lou Correau (D-Calif.). Sheresh was previously Legislative Assistant in the Correau office. Sheresh started on the Hill as a Legislative Assistant for Correau in 2017. Sheresh is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego.

Also moving up to a Senior Policy Adviser position is Elizabeth Arevalo, working for Rep. Ted Leiu (D-Calif.). Elizabeth, who has worked for Leiu since 2015, was previously a Legislative Assistant. Elizabeth graduated with a BA in political science in 2014 from Notre Dame University.  Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Clare Paoletta, House Energy and Commerce Committee (Screenshot from Facebook)

Returning to the Hill as a Policy Analyst for Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee is Clare Paoletta, working for Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). Clare was previously Project Coordinator for the National Association of Community Health Centers and before that an Intern for Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Clare expects to complete a MS degree this year from Georgetown University and she is a 2018 graduate with a BA in political science and government, and biology from Fordham University.

Making the transition from two years as Special Assistant to President Donald Trump in the White House to Senior Policy Adviser to Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN) is Kelly Collins. Kelly has also previously worked for Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and for Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).  She is a 2016 graduate of the University of Dayton in Spanish and international studies.

Christine Leonard is the new Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, working for the chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Christine is a Hill veteran, having worked as Senior Counsel for four years for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and before that as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA). She was also Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for two years under President Barack Obama. Christine law degree was awarded in 2001 by Boston College Law School. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Closing several professional loops is Brett William Doyle, the new Senior Adviser to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) on the Congressional Oversight Commission. The move marks Brett’s return to the Hill after stints at EPA and the USTR. Previous to those slots, he worked for Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on the Senate Republican Policy Committee and before that as a legislative correspondent for Toomey. Brett’s BA in history was awarded in 2010 from Lafayette College and he earned a certificate in joint professional military education in 2020 from the U.S. Naval War College.

Becky Shane, Staff Assistant, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.)(Screenshot from Facebook).

New on the Hill is Becky Shane, taking on the challenges of being a Staff Assistant to Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.). Becky received her BA in philosophy, politics, economics and history in 2019 from Claremont McKenna College.

There is a new Special Counsel on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and his name is Patrick J. McCormick, working for Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Before making this move, Patrick was Chief Counsel for the committee. He received his law degree in 1984 from the Catholic University of America Columbus Law School and his BA in 1977 from the Jesuit University in Wheeling, WVA. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Susan Fortnam takes on her first job on Capitol Hill as California Democrat Rep. Mike Levin’s new Scheduler. Her previous work included nearly five years of event planning and management with Nardello & Co., and Education Reimagined. She’s a 2013 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BA in international and global studies.

Derek Judd (Screenshot from Facebook).

Also moving up this week is Derek Judd, from Military Legislative Assistant for Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) to Legislative Director for Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY). Derek earned his BA in political science from Colgate University in 2014.

It’s a promotion from Staff Assistant to Legislative Correspondent for Caroline Briscoe, working for Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas).  Caroline earned her BA in Government from the University of Texas this year.

Brandon DiVulvio is the new Legislative Aide to Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL). Brandon previously held various positions on Kelly’s staff, beginning as a Fellow in June 2018. He is a 2016 American University graduate with a BS in political science. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: These Are The Top 10 Best, Worst Paying Offices For Staff

Senators traditionally pay their staffs somewhat more on average than House members, but the latest comprehensive salary data from Legistorm makes clear that is not necessarily always the case.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) pays the highest average staff salary in Congress.

Scan through the top 10 highest average staff salary offices and you find seven senators, two House members and one non-voting House member.

At the other end of the database, all 10 of the lowest-paying members are in the House. Continue reading “WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: These Are The Top 10 Best, Worst Paying Offices For Staff”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Hearing Of The Select Committee On The Modernization Of Congress On Staffing Issues

Earlier this summer, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress convened a hearing on staff compensation and benefits. The basic issue — what to do about low pay and high turnover rates — was the central question of the day.

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) is chairman of the panel, while Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) is vice-chairman. In his opening remarks, Kilmer offered this analysis of the problem:

“Staff are the backbone of this institution. They are dedicated public servants who are here because they want to do meaningful work. They choose careers on the Hill despite the long hours, the lack of job security, and lower pay compared to what they could make in the executive branch and private sector.

“Congress is fortunate to attract such talented and hard-working staff. The challenge is keeping them here. We know that turnover rates for House staff are really high and while there’s churn between Hill offices, the typical staffer leaves the Hill after 4 or 5 years.

“That’s right about the time they’ve picked up a lot of institutional knowledge and policy expertise. As unfortunate as this pattern is, it makes sense. For a lot of staffers, the desire to serve the public is eventually outweighed by the need for a better work/life balance, and the need to make more money to afford housing, support families, and put kids through college.

“This reality puts Congress at a disadvantage compared to the executive branch and the private sector. The bottom line is this: until Congress can offer competitive pay and benefits, Congress will continue to lose talented and smart staff. And rather than view them as replaceable, we should create an environment that encourages the best staffers to stay.” (Emphasis added)

The following video of the hearing is long at more than 90 minutes, but the two featured witnesses — Casey Burgat, Director of the Legislative Affairs at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, and Kathryn Pearson, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota — provide an intelligent, detailed and compelling analysis of what must be done for Congress to address these problems:


HT: Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute for pointing this video out to yours truly via email.

WORKING ON THE HILL: There’s Good News And, Mostly, Bad News About Staff Salaries

If you worked for a couple of years on the Hill beginning in 2000 at the end of the Clinton presidency and the dawn of the second Bush White House, then came back this year in the same position, you would probably see a 35 percent pay hike.

That conclusion is based on Legistorm’s calculation of annual increases in the median staff salary for members of the office staff of a senator or representative. It was $39,673 in 2000 and is presently $53,660, a 35 percent increase.

That’s the good news. Pay for congressional staff has risen steadily during the previous two decades. Unfortunately, it’s still common for lower level staffers to be paid salaries that require having roommates to share housing costs, or other income sources (which should be disclosed). Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: There’s Good News And, Mostly, Bad News About Staff Salaries”

WORKING ON THE HILL: God’s Purpose For You Is Now

By Bret Bernhardt

It’s easy to feel as if you are standing still or even stuck in your present circumstances. This applies to your life, both on the job and off.  Everyone who has worked on the Hill has had these feelings from time to time.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Oswald Chambers, in his daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” hits the nail on the head on this subject with his July 28 reading.

Titled “God’s Purpose or Mine,” Chambers aptly describes how the Lord views progress and success in our lives. In short, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: God’s Purpose For You Is Now”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Krister Holladay is back on Capitol Hill after a 14-year absence, coming over from K One Consulting LLC to serve as Chief of Staff for Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Back in the day, Krister was Chief of Staff to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and before that, during the Contract with America era, was Legislative Director on the personal staff of Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Krister earned his Masters in national security studies in 1998 from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Elissa Tew (Screenshot from Facebook).

Elissa Tew takes over as Press Secretary for Rep. John Rose (R-TN). She previously served as legislative assistant to North Carolina State Senator Jim Burgin, and she has interned in the White House Office of Digital Strategy and for her state’s two Republican senators, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr. Elissa is a 2018 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in political science and women’s and gender studies. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ The Hill This Week”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Eric Shalloway is moving up to Staff Assistant for Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), after serving the Florida representative as an Intern. Eric received his BA in public policy earlier this year from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Danielle Cohen (Screenshot from Facebook).

Danielle Cohen is the new Communications Director for Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Danielle previously was the acting CD for Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo) and before that was DeGette’s Digital Press Secretary. Danielle received an MA in media and communications in 2018 from George Washington University and a BA from GWU in 2017 in political communications.

Jessica Martinez takes over as Legislative Director for Rep. Mark Veazey (D-TX) following three years as a Special Adviser to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Member Jessica Rosenworcel. Martinez graduated in 2013 from the University of Utah with a BA in French studies and international and global studies.

Promoted from Legislative Director to Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) is James Hampson. He’s a 2012 graduate of Penn State with a BA in public relations and sociology.

Over on the Senate side of the Capitol, Maria Jeffrey has been promoted from Press Secretary to Director of Speech-Writing and Strategic Communications for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Maria is a 2011 graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati with a BA in classics and classical languages, literatures and linguistics.


LOOKING FOR A HILL JOB?

Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)