The Changing of the Chiefs

Posted February 10, 2004 at 1:54pm

After Will Brooke left Sen. Conrad Burns’ (R-Mont.) office late last year to manage President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, Bozeman, Mont., City Manager Clark Johnson was tapped to fill the Senator’s top position.

A native of Big Sky Country, Burns’ new chief of staff is a former teacher, firefighter and vice president of Western National Bank. In 1993 he moved to Bozeman, where he taught at the Fire Services Training School at his alma mater, Montana State University. His wife and two daughters reside in Bozeman, where he has served as city manager since 1997.

“Clark brings a lot to the table,” Burns said in a statement. “He’s an effective manager and clear thinker. He also brings a wealth of experience from several sectors that are important to Montana. I feel confident in his abilities and we’re pleased to have him on the Burns Team.”

Gallery Gang. After a round of recent promotions, four members of the House Radio and TV Gallery are climbing a different face of the Hill.

Olga Kornacki has been tapped to be the new deputy director of the gallery and will now assist the gallery director with planning and implementing the national political convention logistics as well as coordinating special events such as the State of the Union address.

The new deputy director will also work to coordinate international media during foreign heads of state visits with the House and serve as the emergency preparedness coordinator for the office.

Kornacki, a Silver Spring, Md., native, has worked for the gallery since 1985, beginning as an assistant in the Rayburn office and moving up in the ranks to director for technical operations. Prior to coming to the Hill, she worked for five years in the D.C. bureau of RKO radio network.

Kornacki, 47, is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds a degree in journalism.

Moving into the role of director for technical operations is Andrew Elias, who will now assist the director of the gallery with planning and implementing broadcast technology advancement.

Elias, who has been employed by the gallery since 1996, is a 1994 graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a degree in government.

Gerald Rupert has been promoted to assistant in the gallery. Rupert, who has been with the gallery since 2001, will now act as a liaison between Congressional offices and member of the broadcast media. He previously worked as an assistant director for the Senate Press Photographers Gallery.

Rupert, 32, is a Maryland native who is a 1995 graduate of Virginia’s Radford University.

Rounding out the gallery changes is Kimberly Oates, 25, who is also a new assistant. Oates, whose hometown is Bethlehem, Pa., comes to the gallery from and WTOP Radio. She is a Pennsylvania State University graduate who holds a degree in broadcast journalism.