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Two New for McKeon

Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) recently added a couple of new staffers to his office.

New as legislative director is Jaime Cheshire, 30. Previously, Cheshire worked for former Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) since 1999 as executive assistant, legislative assistant, senior legislative assistant and, most recently, legislative director. [IMGCAP(2)]

The Farmington, Conn., native graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1999 and is a “dedicated UConn Huskies basketball fan,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Also new to McKeon’s office is Lindsey Mask. At least, she is kind of new.

Mask joins McKeon’s personal office as press secretary but will maintain her role as director of outreach for the House Education and Labor Committee, of which McKeon is the ranking member. Before joining the committee, Mask worked as press secretary for Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) from 2005 to 2006. She also has worked as speechwriter to the commissioner of education at the Texas Education Agency from 2004 to 2005; as aide to former Texas state Rep. Suzanna Hupp (R) from 2003 to 2004; as aide to Texas state Sen. Craig Estes (R) from 2002 to 2003; as marketing specialist at Jackson Digital Inc. from 2000 to 2002; and as a news anchor and reporter for an ABC affiliate in Michigan from 1999 to 2000. [IMGCAP(1)]

“I consider service and volunteering one of the most significant parts of my life,” Mask wrote in an e-mail. Among other community involvement activities, Mask writes that she “attend[s] McLean Bible Church and mentor[s] a teenaged girl through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.”

From Aledo, Texas, Mask graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and speech communications in 1998.

International Advocate. Jacob Kurtzer, 27, recently left the Hill to become the Congressional advocate for Refugees International. In that role he says he will be responsible for “congressional advocacy to generate lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced people around the world and to end the conditions that creates displacement.”

Prior to joining the organization, Kurtzer worked as a legislative assistant for Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) since 2004 and as a staff assistant in the office from 2003 to 2004. He also has worked for the CD/Game Exchange from 2001 to 2003; for the Economic Cooperation Foundation in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2003; for the Center for Substance Abuse Research in 2002; and for the Al Ahram Beverage Co. in Cairo, Egypt, in 2001.

Kurtzer wrote in an e-mail that his father “is former US ambassador Daniel Kurtzer” and that he “got [his] first passport before I was two weeks old. [I] moved to Cairo at 17 days old, and from there moved to Tel Aviv.”

The very internationally minded Kurtzer also said he once “served as a Carter Center Election Monitor in Solo, Indonesia” and that he hosted a radio show in college.

Kurtzer earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Maryland in 2002. While at Maryland, he studied abroad in Cairo and Jerusalem. The Silver Spring, Md., native also studied at Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion, a one-year seminary in Israel, before college.

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