New Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has chosen the core of his new policy staff. The Capitol Hill veterans will assist Reid and other Senate Democrats in molding their policy positions.
Randy DeValk, 47, has been brought on board as senior legislative and policy director. DeValk has been on the Hill for the past 18 years and has spent the previous 10 in the office of then-Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). DeValk will take the lead on policy development and oversee the Democratic Policy Committee. A native of Appleton, Wis., DeValk graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1979.
Kai Anderson joins the staff as deputy chief of staff for Nevada issues. Previously, Anderson has served in a number of roles for Reid, including legislative assistant and legislative director. Anderson, 33, holds a doctorate in geology from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s in geological and environmental sciences.
Kevin Kayes has been hired as chief counsel. He will work in tandem with DeValk to coordinate legislative policy and handle commerce, trade and banking issues. Previously, Kayes has served as the staff director for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and as a Senate Parliamentarian.
Reid’s new chief adviser is Darrel Thompson, who joins the office after serving as chief of staff for new Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) election campaign. Thompson also spent five years with then-House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.). Thompson will be in charge of labor relations, political outreach, and African-American and faith-based issues. Thompson, 34, holds a master’s from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a bachelor’s from Morgan State University.
Lisa Moore, 35, will serve as Reid’s point person on all nominations, including judicial positions. Moore has worked for Reid before, as his legislative director; she also has served as counsel to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Moore is from Saddle River, N.J., and holds a bachelor’s in political science from Boston College and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Ron Weich, 45, joins the office as Reid’s senior counsel on the judiciary. From 1990 to 1997 he worked as general counsel to the Labor and Human Resources Committee and then as chief counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). In addition to his work on the Hill, Weich has served as a prosecutor and worked most recently in the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. A native of New York City, Weich received a bachelor’s in 1980 from Columbia University and a law degree in 1983 from Yale Law School.
Reid’s new senior budget adviser is Bruce King, an 18-year veteran of Capitol Hill. Most recently, he has served as senior counsel to Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.). He will handle Social Security and budget issues. King, 46, graduated from Tulane University with a bachelor’s in 1980, and from Stanford Law School in 1983.
Bob Greenawalt, 43, comes on board as senior tax adviser to the Minority Leader. Greenawalt has worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years, including stints in the offices of then-Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John Chafee (R-R.I.). Greenawalt hails from Pottstown, Pa., and holds a bachelor’s from Arizona State University.
Health issues will be handled by a two-person team: Kate Leone and Carolyn Gluck. New Senior Health Counsel Leone, 33, previously worked with Daschle and as an attorney in the Justice Department’s antitrust division. A native of Princeton, N.J., Leone holds a bachelor’s in American studies from Cornell University, and a law degree from Columbia University.
Gluck, 30, has worked for Reid since 1996, and has handled issues dealing with health care, women’s issues, seniors, and the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations. Most recently, she served as deputy legislative director. Gluck hails from Livingston, N.J., and holds a bachelor’s in political science and French from the University of Michigan.
Another staffer with more than a decade of service on Capitol Hill, Dana Lewis is taking over as senior policy adviser for education issues. In her time in Washington, she has worked for a number of luminaries, including Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
Lewis calls Weston, Conn., home and graduated from Hampton University in 1993 with a bachelor’s in political science. She also holds a degree in culinary arts, which she received from the Culinary Institute of America in 2003.
Peter Umhofer, 35, is taking over as senior policy adviser for environmental and energy legislation. Previously, Umhofer worked for Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.) and the Democratic Policy Committee, as well as the Interior Department. Umhofer hails from San Luis Obispo, Calif., and holds degrees from Saint Mary’s College and the University of Southern California.
Bob Herbert, a colonel in the National Guard, will serve as legislative assistant on transportation and veterans affairs issues. He has worked for Reid the past six years, and returns to Washington after a stint in the Senator’s Las Vegas office. Herbert, 47, holds a master’s in public administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University.
Mark Wetjen, 30, will serve as legislative counsel on telecommunications, small business, and high-tech issues. Previously, Wetjen worked in a private practice in the areas of municipal finance, regulatory law and litigation. Wetjen holds a bachelor’s from Creighton University and a law degree from University of Iowa College of Law.
Kristy Skupa, 33, will serve as legislative counsel on law enforcement issues. She has worked for Reid for three years. The Las Vegas native graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s in communications and earned a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Reid’s leadership aide will be Waldo McMillan, 26. The Wilmington, Del., native’s duties will include assisting the office in its leadership activities. He is a former Harry Reid-Howard University Leadership intern, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.