Rubio Mulls Chief of Staff Options

Posted January 5, 2011 at 4:26pm

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) is still in the market for a chief of staff, and in fact is alone among the chamber’s 13 new Republicans in beginning his tenure with the position vacant.

Rubio’s office announced a slate of hires this week but confirmed Wednesday that the Senator continues to interview for the chief of staff post. In the interim, Chief Policy Adviser and Legislative Director Sally Canfield will perform the chief’s duties with the help of Rubio’s other senior staff members.

“He is still interviewing chief of staff candidates and will make a decision when he is ready,” Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said. “He believes the team he has put in place so far is top-notch, ready to serve all Floridians, and won’t miss a beat.”

Rubio does not appear to be in any rush to make a hire. The Senator and his team view Canfield, who has enjoyed a varied career inside and outside government and politics, as qualified to handle the tasks usually performed by the chief.

She previously served as senior director for policy for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-aventis U.S. Before that, she served as a senior program officer in the Global Health Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Canfield also has served as deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Homeland Security and as counselor to the secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, Canfield worked for Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and former Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.). She served as domestic policy adviser for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and as policy director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.