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Thune’s Boon

With his current boss heading for greener pastures, Kyle Downey is set to join the office of freshman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) as communications director. [IMGCAP(1)]

Downey currently holds that title for Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has been nominated to serve as U.S. trade representative. Before joining Portman, Downey worked for the House Budget Committee and then-House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts (Okla.).

During his stint with Portman, Downey helped his boss prepare to play the role of then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) in a practice debate with Vice President Cheney.

“Kyle will be a great addition to our team. His many years of communications experience will greatly benefit me and the people of South Dakota,” Thune said in a statement.

Printer’s Prize. Public Printer Bruce James was recently honored by his alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology, by having a new public service award named after him.

The inaugural Bruce R. James ’64 Public Service Award, recognizing a student for exemplary public service to the wider Rochester, N.Y., community, was given out last month to fourth-year new media publishing major Sheila Sarratore.

James, who serves as chairman of RIT’s board of trustees, was on hand to present the award at the ceremony, which also celebrated the university’s 175th anniversary.

“No matter what the school, the American public finances a good portion of the costs of everyone’s college education, which in turn obligates each recipient to devote a portion of their life to public service,” James said in a statement last week.

— Ben Pershing and John McArdle

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