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Progressing With New Hire

The Center for American Progress, the new think tank founded by John Podesta, has named Alyssondra Campaigne its vice president for federal affairs.

Campaigne comes to the group from the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she was legislative director.

Campaigne also has roots on Capitol Hill, where she served as an aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Podesta, former chief of staff for then-President Bill Clinton, recently started his group to counter conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation in the battle of ideas.

Wiley Rein Adds One. James McKinlay has joined Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP after working for years with United Technologies’ Pratt & Whiney.

McKinlay, a former civilian attorney with the Army and Navy, will help expand the government contracting

sector at his new lobbying shop.

Tew Cardenas Picks Up Latin America Expert. The law firm Tew Cardenas, known for its expertise in Latin American affairs, has snagged a top foreign service official with 24 years in the State Department.

Dennis Hays will serve as managing director of the firm’s government affairs practice group. During his tenure in the foreign service, Hays has served as coordinator for Cuba, director of Mexican affairs, charge’ d’affaires in Guyana and ambassador to Suriname.

Hays, who most recently served as executive vice president at the Cuban American National Foundation, was also twice elected as head of the American Foreign Service Association.

Power Boost. In Dittus Communications’ quest for expansion, the public affairs group has acquired a bevy of new faces, including Buddy Eller, who will lead its new energy practice group.

Most recently, Eller served as Mirant Corp.’s director of external and regulatory affairs. In the role, Eller was the corporation’s primary liaison to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the media and trade associations.

Dittus has also added three senior directors in recent weeks, including Betsy Stephenson, Doug Brown and Alison Lynn.

Stephenson, who joins the firm’s public affairs practice, comes from the Personal Communications Industry Association and has external relations experience from Porter Novelli, Powell Tate and Ogilvy & Mather.

Brown — a former reporter for The Washington Post, The Federal Paper, Federal Computer Week — and a slew of other publications, will head Dittus’ editorial services practice.

Meanwhile, Lynn, who joins Dittus’ food and agricultural practice, comes from the Republican National Committee, where she was a communications manager.

Accounting Board, Plus One. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the private-sector, nonprofit corporation created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to oversee auditors of public companies, has brought on a new deputy director of government relations.

Helene Rayder, who comes from the law firm Davis & Harman, is a former legislative affairs representative for Mutual of Omaha and American Express.

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