House Rep. Gets Veteran Senate Staffer. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) announced early this month that he has tapped Thomas Lehner to serve as his new chief of staff.
Lehner comes to the House with a vast amount of Senate experience. He served for seven years as chief of staff to then-Sen. Chuck Robb until the Democrat from Virginia lost his re-election bid in 2000. He also has worked as treasurer for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and served on the staffs of Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John Breaux (D-La.). Since 2000, Lehner has served as executive vice president for the American Financial Services Association.
“It is exciting to be back in the thick of things on Capitol Hill,” Lehner said in a statement. Sherman “has assembled a great legislative team.”
Lehner, who is married and has three children, received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from San Francisco State University.
Movin’ On Up and Movin’ On In. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) office has seen several staff changes in recent weeks that have resulted in four new hires and three promotions.
Taking over as legislative director for the office is Noushin Jahanian. Jahanian, 29, has worked as a legislative assistant in the Senator’s office since 2001. The Kansas City native also worked for
the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and as an attorney at Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky. Jahanian holds a law degree from the University of Chicago and attended Duke University as an undergraduate.
Moving up to economic policy director is Mat Young, who will assist the Senator with her duties on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and handle taxes and macroeconomic policy. Young, 29, has worked for Stabenow since 2001 and also spent a year assisting Democratic staff with the House Banking Committee. He has also previously worked at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.
Young holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University.
Patty Bouch has been promoted to legislative assistant in charge of appropriations, education, American Indian, arts and humanities issues. A Stabenow staffer since 2000, Bouch came to Washington in 1995 to work at a lobbying firm before getting involved in Stabenow’s Senate race. Bouch, 31, holds a master’s in political management from George Washington University and a bachelor’s from Michigan State University. She is a native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Oliver Kim, 29, was recently hired as legislative assistant responsible for health and social policy issues. The former researcher for the Economic Alliance for Michigan holds a law degree from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. He hails from West Lafayette, Ind.
Also coming aboard as legislative assistant is Erik Floden, 30. Floden has extensive experience working at the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation and will be in charge of homeland security, veterans affairs, defense, foreign policy and energy issues for Stabenow. The Flint, Mich., native holds a master’s in national security studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in history from the University of Michigan.
Rounding out Stabenow’s legislative pickups is Kristen Knepper. Knepper will serve as legislative assistant responsible for agriculture, environmental and natural resource issues. The former attorney at Wilkie, Farr & Gallagher spent four years on the Hill in the late ’90s working in Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass) office. Knepper hails from LaGrange, Ind., and holds a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in public communications from American University.
Stabenow’s newest deputy press secretary is former Senate Democratic Technology and Communications Committee Press Assistant Sarah Gragert. Gragert, who graduated from Georgetown University in 2002 with degrees in Spanish and political science, will provide general communications support and draft speeches and other press releases for Stabenow. The Wichita, Kan., native is 23 years old.