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Long-Time Staffer Bids Hill Adieu

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) will soon say goodbye to Stephen Vermillion, who has served as the Congressman’s chief of staff for the past 11 years.

After 20 years of work on national security issues and 15 years of civil service, Vermillion, 43, is leaving Capitol Hill next week to become vice president for government affairs at Object Video in Reston, Va.

Vermillion’s work on Capitol Hill has included a stint as foreign affairs/national security legislative assistant for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) from 1987 to 1989. He served as director of Congressional affairs at the Cuban American National Foundation before joining Diaz-Balart’s office in 1993 as legislative director.

“My years of work in Congress and serving the people of the United States were gratifying,” Vermillion said in a statement. He said he looks forward to the challenges of helping Object Video develop new video surveillance software for physical security applications, “especially in this time of increased global threats to security.”

Vermillion, a native Washingtonian, begins his new position June 14. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola College and a master’s in international affairs from the University of Miami. He also earned a diploma for post-graduate work in national security studies from the Naval War College. [IMGCAP(1)]

Two for Wu. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) recently picked up a new director of communications and a legislative correspondent in his Capitol Hill office.

Patrick Morris, 41, is now handling press and media operations for the Congressman. Morris, who came to the Hill from his position as a partner at Pinnacle Strategies, spent six years at the Commerce Department, where he was named deputy chief of staff to then-Secretary Norm Mineta in 2000. He also worked in the Defense Department in 1993 and 1994 and in the office of the vice president from 1994 to 1996.

Morris is a Rochester, N.Y., native who holds a master’s in urban planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s in political science/communications from Canisius College.

Mary Cunningham, 24, has taken on office mail operations for Wu. The former legislative director for the United States Student Association is a Tigard, Ore., native. She attended Portland State University and graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s in community development.

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