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Pelosi Announces New Communications Staff

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced several changes to her communications operation Monday, finalizing her staff shuffle after the Feb. 1 retirement of her longtime chief of staff, John Lawrence.

“With 49 new Democratic members, the communications office is retooling to support our expanded Caucus,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “Ensuring that our new members and our entire caucus of 200-plus members have the resources they need will continue to be a top priority of my office in the 113th Congress, and the excellence of this team underscores that commitment.”

Ashley Etienne joins Pelosi’s office as deputy communications director. She had been communications director for Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md. Previously, she was the spokeswoman for the Corporation for National and Community Service and worked for several members of the Texas delegation.

Evangeline George becomes Pelosi’s press secretary. She had been with Pelosi since January 2009, but took a leave of absence to head communications for now-New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s 2012 campaign.

Jonathan Powell, who has also been with Pelosi since 2009, takes over as director of speech-writing. He previously served in the same role for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Finally, Ryan King, a Pelosi aide since August 2011, has been promoted to press adviser.

The moves underscore the importance of communications when in the minority, and they fill out the press team after Nadeam Elshami, who was the communications director, was promoted to chief of staff after Lawrence’s departure.

As was announced last month along with Elshami’s move, George Kundanis remains the deputy chief of staff, Diane Dewhirst was promoted to deputy chief of staff and Drew Hammill replaced Elshami as communications director and senior adviser.

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