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Washington moves of the week: Here’s who’s landing at the Biden White House, federal agencies, Capitol Hill and elsewhere in Washington

Summary List PlacementPeople are always on the move in the nation's capital as jobs change hands and many land their dream gigs. 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 hires are arriving at the White House, the US Capitol, and federal agencies.

Summary List Placement

People are always on the move in the nation’s capital as jobs change hands and many land their dream gigs.

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: 

Capitol Hill

  • Annaliese Davis was promoted to senior communications advisor for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. She was previously national press secretary in Hoyer’s office. 
  • Jesse Solis is now media relations manager for the Tax Foundation. He previously served as spokesman for Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee.
  • Shawn Bishop is the new chief health advisor for Senate Finance Committee Democrats, which is chaired by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. Bishop was previously vice president for the Controlling Health Care Costs and Advancing Medicare programs at the Commonwealth Fund. She has worked for the Finance Committee before, most recently helping to craft and pass the bipartisan Prescription Drug Reduction Act in 2019. 
  • Colleen “Maggie” Moore is now an associate at FS Vector. She was a staffer for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. 
  • Harlan Geer, a former senior staffer to New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, is now the deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. 
  • Andrew Fosina left his gig as a legislative correspondent for Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney to join the National Republican Campaign Committee as a policy analyst. 
  • Lorenzo Rubalcava, a former advisor to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, is now a health policy advisor to Sen. Alex Padilla of California

Federal agencies

The White House announced dozens of healthcare hires this week as California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, prepares to face a Senate panel for his confirmation hearing next week. 

They are:  

  • Biden nominated Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to become administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a role that needs Senate confirmation. Brooks-LaSure is currently managing director at Manatt Health, a professional services firm. 
  • Arielle Woronoff will be the CMS director of the office of legislation. She previously served as senior health counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. 
  • Anne Reid, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s former chief of staff who worked on the Biden transition, will now serve as Becerra’s deputy chief of staff. 
  • Harvard healthcare economics professor Ben Sommers will be deputy assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS. He previously worked at HHS under the Obama administration. 
  • Perrie Briskin will be senior advisor to Sean McCluskie, the HHS chief of staff.
  • Clare Pierce-Wrobel becomes senior advisor to McCluskie. She was previously an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at George Washington University-Milken Institute School of Public Health. 
  • Dawn O’Connell will be senior counselor for the HHS COVID Response. She was previously director at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. 
  • Kathryn Alvarez will serve as deputy chief of staff for the HHS COVID Response. She was associate director for administration at the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative. 
  • Sarah Despres will be counselor for Public Health and Science at HHS. She was government relations director for health programs at the Pew Charitable Trusts.  
  • Kristin Avery has been hired as the HHS White House liaison. 
  • Shannon Myricks will serve as the HHS deputy White House liaison. 
  • Esmeralda Orozco will be special assistant for scheduling. She was previously personnel assistant for the Biden-Harris transition. 
  • AJ Pearlman is chief of staff for the HHS COVID Response. Pearlman was the health lead for personnel appointments in the Biden-Harris transition. 
  • Kashif Syed will be senior advisor to the HHS executive secretary. 
  • Lizeth Zardeneta will be executive assistant and briefing book coordinator.
  • Josh Peck is deputy assistant secretary for public engagement at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for public affairs. He previously worked as Healthcare.gov’s chief marketing officer during the Obama administration and when Donald Trump was president he co-founded Get America Covered. 
  • Ian Sams is deputy assistant secretary for public affairs focused on the COVID response at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for public affairs. He was Vice President Kamala Harris‘ campaign press secretary during her White House run.  
  • Kirsten Allen is now national press secretary for the COVID Response at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for public affairs. She was communications director for the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. 
  • Former Biden campaign spokesman Zachary Dembner is now assistant at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for public affairs. 
  • Sean Higgins, who served as the Biden campaign’s Wisconsin deputy communications director, is now press secretary at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for public affairs. 
  • Luisana Pérez Fernández will be press secretary at the HHS office of the assistant secretary for public affairs. She was deputy communications director in the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and had worked on the Biden campaign. 
  • Kimberly Espinosa will be deputy assistant secretary for legislation at the office of the HHS assistant secretary for legislation. 
  • Kelsey Mellette will be special assistant at the office of the HHS assistant secretary for legislation. She was policy advisor to Harris as senator. 
  • Kacey Wulff will be chief of staff in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. She was Colorado’s senior advisor for COVID-19 response, resilience, and recovery. 
  • Former Biden campaign staffer Thomas Berry will be special assistant in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration. 
  • Max Lesko, the former executive director at the Children’s Defense Fund will now serve as chief of staff for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy should he get confirmed.
  • Jessica Scruggs will be senior advisor and director of scheduling and advance for the surgeon general. She was communications director for the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. 
  • Lisa Barclay is deputy general counsel in the HHS Office of the General Council. She was on the agency review team for the Biden-Harris transition and served as the Food and Drug Administration chief of staff during the Obama administration. 
  • Paul Rodriguez will be deputy general counsel in the HHS Office of the General Council. He was director at the New Jersey attorney general’s office, in the division of consumer affairs. 
  • Marvin Figueroa is now in the HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. He previously served as deputy secretary in the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, under Gov. Ralph Northam
  • Yvanna Cancela is now principal deputy director in the HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. She was previously executive director for the Immigrant Workers Citizenship Project. 
  • Destiny Gregg will be confidential assistant to the HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. She was previously a field organizer for the North Carolina Democratic Party. 
  • Jordan Hefcart will be special assistant to Micky Tripathi, the National Health Information Technology Coordinator.
  • Karoun Tcholakian will be special assistant to the director at the HHS Office of Global Affairs. She previously worked on the Biden campaign. 
  • Alison Barkoff will be principal deputy administrator at the Administration for Community Living. She was previously director of advocacy at the Center for Public Representation. 
  • Reyma McCoy McDeid will be commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities. She was executive director at the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living. 
  • Larry Handerhan will be chief of staff and senior advisor at the Administration for Children and Families. He was previously chief of staff for Washington, DC’s Department of Human Services. 
  • Jose Garibay Medrano will be special assistant for the Office of Refugee Resettlement. He previously worked on the Biden campaign. 
  • Lanikque Howard is director of the Office of Community Services and Senior Advisor on Asset Building. She was senior administrator for programs at First 5 Alameda County. 
  • Jenifer Smyers will be chief of Staff for the Office of Refugee Resettlement. 
  • Sonia Chessen will be chief of staff at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She previously worked on the Biden-Harris transition. 

The White House

  • Biden nominated Jennifer Abruzzo to become general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency that helps improve wages and working conditions for employees across the US. Abruzzo is currently special counsel for strategic initiatives for the Communications Workers of America. 
  • Anthony Ruggiero is returning to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies today as a senior fellow. Ruggiero most recently worked as deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense at the National Security Council. 

Communications

  • Phil Ewing joined General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in early February as a strategic communications specialist. His work will include writing, editing, and multimedia storytelling. He previously worked as the national security editor at National Public Radio.
  • Becca Hatton is now communications and public relations manager for the Paul Hastings law firm. Hatton previously worked as public relations manager for law and lobbying firm K&L Gates.

Politics

  • Walter Shaub, the former director of the US Office of Government Ethics has joined the Project On Government Oversight, where he’ll be in charge of a new ethics and accountability program.
  • The Democratic National Committee Chair has new communications staff. Adrienne Watson was promoted to communications director after serving as the DNC’s deputy communications director and War Room director. Ofirah Yheskel who previously served as a DNC War Room spokesperson now is deputy communications director. Danai Pointer, principal at Bergen Consulting Group, is returning to the DNC as communication outreach director. Brad Woodhouse, the former executive director of the group Protect Our Care, is also coming in as a senior advisor.
  • Ian Prior launched DailyMalarkey.com, a conservative-leaning website that provides “one piece of news each day about politics, media or pop culture that will make you laugh, cry or throw your phone through the wall.” Prior is also CEO of communications consulting firm Headwaters Media and previously worked in communications for the Department of Justice and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
  • Jason Cabel Roe is now executive director of the Michigan Republican Party. He previously was principal of campaign and communications strategy consulting firm Roe Strategic as a senior advisor to the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC.

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