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Bonilla Taps Rice

Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) announced that Tom Rice, 43, will join his staff as legislative director Sept. 1. He replaces Mary Scott Pearson, who has served Bonilla for nearly four years.

A retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, Rice most recently worked for Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.) as a defense legislative fellow and senior policy fellow.

Rice saw combat in Operation Desert Storm and has received a number of awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal and the Master Parachutist Decoration. In all, he has two decades of leadership experience in the military and aviation.

Originally from Virginia and North Carolina, Rice received a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University in 1983 and a master’s of public administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1995.

Nickles Promotes Morris. Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) has promoted Lee Morris to legislative director in the wake of the departure of Brook Simmons, who is leaving the Senator’s office to pursue a career in lobbying.

Morris, 38, has served with the Senator since 1993 as a legislative correspondent. Morris has tackled several issues for the Senator, including budget, taxes and energy. Nickles praised Morris for his “insight, his leadership and his commitment.”

A native of Bartlesville, Okla., Morris graduated from American University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in literature. Upon graduation, Morris took “a day off” and then set straight to work for Nickles. He has been with him ever since.

New Deputy COS at GPO. Maria Robinson is joining the Government Printing Office as the new deputy chief of staff for the organization.

Robinson, 30, previously served for Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who is the chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing. She was the staff director for that committee and was in charge of daily oversight of GPO operations. Prior to her work with GPO, she served as legislative director, correspondent and assistant to Ney.

Chief of Staff Bob Tapella said “in her new role at the GPO, Maria will move from oversight [of the staff] to implementation as we carry out our strategic plan.”

Originally from Morristown, Ohio, Robinson attended Ohio State University and received a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland University College.

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