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RSC Pickup

Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) policy director, Russ Vought, 28, has been hired by the Republican Study Committee.

He will maintain his post with Hensarling in addition to serving as the new budget director for the RSC, a caucus of more than 90 House Republicans dedicated to advancing a conservative fiscal and social agenda.

Vought’s main duties will consist of keeping members of the caucus up to speed on issues that deal with fiscal policy. He says that much of his work “will come during the appropriations process as we try to make sure that the budget resolution is adhered to.”

After growing up in Trumbull, Conn., Vought attended Wheaton College in Illinois, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in political science and history in 1998. He also received a law degree from George Washington University Law School in May of this year.

Vought interned and later worked for then-Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), and then-Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) before gaining his current post with Hensarling.

Cantwell Promotes Two. Kurt Beckett, 32, former deputy chief of staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), was promoted to chief of staff earlier this summer. He replaces former Chief of

Staff Caroline Fredrickson, who is leaving the office to work for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Prior to joining Cantwell’s office in 2001, he worked for eight years in Rep. Norm Dick’s (D-Wash.) office and served as state director of Washington for the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000.

The Blue Mound, Ill., native graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a bachelor’s in political science in 1995.

Jennifer Griffith has been promoted to deputy chief of staff. Griffith has had a number of positions within Cantwell’s office, including senior policy director, state outreach director and legislative assistant. She has also been a legislative assistant for Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

Griffith received a bachelor’s in sociology and French from Gonzaga University in 1994, as well as a master’s in public policy with a concentration in women’s studies in 1997 from George Washington University. [IMGCAP(1)]

Ratliff Joins NGA. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices hired John Ratliff earlier this summer as director of its Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Division.

The NGA helps governors and their policy advisers shape and implement solutions to problems facing their states. As director of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Division of the NGA, Ratliff will provide guidance on a number of topics, including water and air quality, coastal protection and cleanup of nuclear weapons sites.

Prior to joining the NGA, Ratliff, 36, has worked in a number of places in both the public and private sectors. He was the director of the Center for Livable Communities at the American Institute of Architects and an associate with the law firm Powell, Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy LLP.

He also served as a legislative counsel for the House of Representatives with a special focus on the Small Business and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

The Washington, D.C., native spent his undergraduate years at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history and foreign affairs in 1989. He went on to receive a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1993 and a master’s in urban and environmental planning in 1995 from the School of Architecture at UVA.

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