- Many political operatives, including a former Trump campaign spokesperson, landed on Capitol Hill.
- 2022 is around the corner, and several political groups have made key hires ahead of the midterms.
- Disney has a new top lobbyist in Washington, DC
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Job changes are a way of life in the nation’s capital as people spin through the revolving door connecting politics, policy, advocacy, communications, and agency work.
The Biden administration is continuing to staff up in the White House and across federal agencies. Advocacy groups are bringing in new talent to try to sway the new administration on different policy priorities.
New senators and members of Congress are hiring new staffers with them to Capitol Hill.
Here’s a rundown of some of this week’s big hires and moves:
Erin Perrine, a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump‘s 2020 re-election campaign, has joined the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, as communications director.
Tess Whittlesey is the new deputy communications director for Sen. Alex Padilla, a California Democrat. Whittlesey previously worked for Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. and Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Margaret Mulkerrin has joined the office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, as national press secretary. Mulkerrin previously worked as communications director for Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from New York.
Francis Brennan, who served as director of strategic response for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, is now communications director for Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican.
Jenna Valle-Riestra started this week as the press secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee. She previously served as digital assistant for Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and has also worked with the Senate Aging Committee and for Rep. Jerry McNerney of California.
James Loomis recently joined the office of Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat, as a defense and foreign policy advisor. He specializes in US-China relations.
Nina Doorley now serves as executive director of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus. Doorley most recently worked as associate director of advocacy and policy for the International Women’s Health Coalition.
Lobbying, law, and advocacy
Alan Gura has joined the Institute for Free Speech as vice president for litigation. He will direct the institute’s litigation and legal advocacy and manage its network of volunteer attorneys. He most recently worked at Gura PLLC, a law practice he founded with a focus on appellate litigation and constitutional law.
Susan Fox will become Disney’s top lobbyist in DC. She’ll have the official title of senior vice president of government relations, after 20 years with the company. Before she joined Disney in 2001, she was a legal advisor to FCC Chairman William Kennard.
Stephanie Avakian, a former director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is rejoining WilmerHale to lead the law firm’s securities and financial services department and as a member of its management committee. Before working at the SEC, Avakian spent 14 years as a partner at WilmerHale from 2000 until 2014.
Robert Butora is now senior director of government affairs at CVS Health. He was formerly a health policy advisor for Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
Kristina Baum started this week as vice president at Qorvis/MSL Group. She was the communications director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Trump administration. Before joining Trump’s White House, she served as communications director for Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee.
Spencer Boyer is now deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy at the Department of Defense. He was previously the director of the Washington Office of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and a senior fellow at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure will become administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She is currently managing director at law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.
James Kvaal will become undersecretary at the Department of Education. Kvaal is the president of the Institute for College Access & Success. He previously served as the deputy domestic policy advisor in the Obama White House.
Richard Sauber is now general counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He most recently worked as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School and has served as general counsel for Freedom House, a nonprofit that advocates on democracy, political freedom, and human rights issues.
Maribel Duran is deputy chief of staff for operations at the Agriculture Department. She previously worked at the Aspen Institute and at USDA during the Obama administration.
Mickeala Carter is the USDA’s new deputy director of communications. She was previously the communications director for the House Agriculture Committee’s Chairman Rep. David Scott, a Democrat of Georgia.
Lynn Overmann, a former senior data strategist for Opportunity Insights, is now a senior advisor for data and technology in USDA’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
Bidisha Bhattacharyya is now a senior policy advisor in USDA’s Farm Service Agency. She previously served as director for climate and energy policy at the Center for American Progress.
Valerie McMakin, a former legislative assistant for Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is now a legislative analyst in USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations.
Mindy Myers, Tracey Lewis, and Sarah Callahan Zusi have launched MZL Media, a Democratic consulting firm specializing in “campaign strategy and message development, political organizing and voter contact.” Myers is a former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Lewis was most recently a senior advisor to Democrats in their effort to win Senate runoff races in Georgia. Zusi last worked as an ad maker for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
David Berrios is now head of community at Swing Left, where he will lead national organizing and mobilization efforts during the 2021-2022 election cycle for the Democrat-supporting political committee. He previously worked as the coordinated campaign director for the North Carolina Democratic Party and Joe Biden presidential campaign.
Roger Lau was named deputy executive director for the Democratic National Committee. Lau served as Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s longtime senior advisor, and also as campaign manager for her 2020 presidential bid. Lau helped manage two of her Senate elections and in 2020 made history as one of the first two Asian-American presidential campaign managers for a major US candidate. Lau started his career working for John Kerry‘s 2004 presidential campaign.
Alana Mounce has been tapped to become the political director for the Democratic National Committee. Mounce served as the chief of staff for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and served as state director for Biden in Nevada. Mounce also served as executive director for the Nevada State Democratic Party.
Monica Guardiola will serve as chief operations officer for the Democratic National Committee. Guardiola previously served as deputy chief operations officer at the DNC and also worked for Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 presidential campaign as deputy general counsel.
Looking for a job in Washington, DC? Here’s how you can land one in the Biden administration, as a congressional staffer on Capitol Hill or as a lobbyist on K Street influencing policy and politicians.