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K Street Files: Nickles Group Adds Chief of Staff; McConnell Aide Leaving

The Nickles Group today announced that Don Kent, chief of staff to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), is joining the group as vice president on Oct. 1.

“Don brings policy know-how and a deep understanding of the business impact Washington’s actions can have,” said former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) in a statement. “His diverse background makes him a tremendous asset to our team.”

In addition to his Senate ties, Kent spent four years working for former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff as his senior adviser and as assistant secretary for legislative affairs, a role that made him the department’s chief liaison with Congress. His K Street experience includes a stint with the firm Navigators Global.

Going East

Brandi Wilson White, policy adviser and counsel to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will join the government relations office of Eastman Chemical Co. next month.

A Tennessee native, White is a former appointee in the Justice Department’s office of legal policy and previously worked for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).

Eastman Chemical is headquartered in east Tennessee. White holds a legal and undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee.

Trading Places

The Emergency Committee for American Trade has brought on Stephen Schaefer, formerly chief international trade counsel for the Senate Finance Committee’s Republican staff, as its new vice president. He starts Oct. 1.

“In the months ahead, Stephen will be working with us to advance ECAT’s mission – promoting economic growth through the expansion of international trade and investment,” said Calman Cohen, ECAT’s president, in a statement.

WPP Brands Merge In

The Dewey Square Group is teaming up with its fellow WPP-owned shop Hill + Knowlton Strategies, the firms announced this week. But Dewey Square will maintain its own brand.

Chuck Campion, chairman of the Dewey Square Group, said in a press release that his company has been coordinating with H+K Strategies on a number of different projects. Joe Eyer, director of the Dewey Square Group’s grass-roots practice, will become head of H+K’s global public affairs practice.

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