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Sweeney Selects New LD

Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) has hired a new legislative director in his Washington, D.C., office.

Jennifer Taylor has been promoted to the position to replace Jimmy Christopolous, who left Sweeney’s office to join Mel Martinez’s Senate campaign in Florida.

The 25-year-old Taylor has worked for the Congressman since she graduated from college in the spring of 2001; she started as a staff assistant and steadily has worked her way up the ranks since. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, the Syracuse, N.Y., native received her bachelor’s in government with a minor in public policy.

U.S. PIRG Expands Office. The United States Public Interest Research Group has added six new members to its Washington, D.C.-based staff. According to its Web site, U.S. PIRG is an organization fighting for issues that are in the public interest, including environmental and consumer protection.

Emily Kaplan, 29, joins the firm as the new public lands advocate. She will work to protect sensitive lands from overdevelopment. Prior to joining U.S. PIRG, Kaplan practiced law in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia native received a bachelor’s in 1997 from the University of Chicago. She went on to study law at Temple University in Philadelphia, receiving her J.D. in 2001.

Buffy Baumann joins the staff as the ocean advocate. Among the issues of concern for U.S. PIRG in the realm of ocean health is overfishing. Before joining the firm, Baumann worked at the Population Reference Bureau and served in the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Senegal.

Baumann received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond. Indiana University was the site of her graduate work; she received a master’s of public affairs and a master’s in environmental science.[IMGCAP(1)]

The new staff attorney is Gretchen DuBeau. Her responsibilities will include global warming issues with a special emphasis on fuel economy standards. DuBeau has previously worked for Public Citizen and Earthjustice.

The 29-year-old is a native of Flagstaff, Ariz., and attended Northern Arizona University in the same city. She received her bachelor’s in international affairs in 1998. She also attended the Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco and specialized in public service.

Lindsey Johnson, 25, comes on board as a consumer advocate. Her areas

of focus include health care, prescription drugs, and product safety issues. Before joining U.S. PIRG, Johnson worked for the California Bureau of State Audits and the California Health and Human Services Agency.

The Fullerton, Calif., native attended the University of California at Los Angeles and received a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also attended the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley for a master’s in public policy.

Kerry-Ann Powell, 29, is the new food safety advocate. Her responsibilities will include informing people of the health and environmental risks associated with genetically engineered food. In the past, Powell has worked for Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Public Citizen, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

Powell received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida in 1995, and a J.D. in 2002 from Northeastern University School of Law. She is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Christy Leavitt, 31, joins the office as the clean water advocate. The Santa Rosa, Calif., native previously worked for the California PIRG Student Chapters and was the director of Free the Planet. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

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