Washington moves of the week: Here's who's landing at the Biden White House, federal agencies, and Capitol Hill

  • Biden nominated deputies for the Departments of Energy and Labor.
  • The White House budget office has a new federal personnel director.
  • Freshmen lawmakers on Capitol Hill are staffing up.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

It’s hiring season in Washington, DC.  

The Biden administration is staffing up in the White House and across federal agencies. Advocacy groups are hiring new talent to try to sway the new administration on policy priorities. New senators and members of Congress are bringing new staffers with them to Capitol Hill. 

Here’s a rundown of some of this week’s big hires: 

Capitol Hill

  • Steven Parker, a former city attorney in Atlanta, is now state deputy director for Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia. Parker was political director for Ossoff’s Senate campaign. 
  • Steve Guest is now a special advisor for communications for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He previously worked as director of rapid response for the Republican National Committee.
  • Avika Dua is digital director for Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California. She was senior digital media buyer for Priorities USA and worked on paid media for the Pete Buttigieg presidential campaign. 
  • John Ferguson, a city commissioner is Dothan, Alabama, is regional director for Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. 
  • James Lewis, a former spokesman for Democratic Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois, is the new director of policy and advocacy at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. He’s also running for city council in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Federal agencies

  • David Turk was nominated to be the Energy Department’s deputy secretary. He is currently the deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency and he coordinated DOE’s international technology and clean energy efforts during the Obama administration. 
  • Julie Su, the secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, was nominated to be deputy secretary of the Labor Department. She was previously California’s labor commissioner and litigation director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. 
  • Christina Tsafoulias, former legislative director for Democratic Rep. David Trone of Maryland, is House division chief at USAID’s bureau for legislative and public affairs. 
  • Drew Horn is now principal and founding partner of Greentech Minerals Advisory Group. He previously worked for the Trump administration as a senior advisor in the Department of Energy.

The White House

  • Pam Coleman is the new associate director of performance and personnel management in the White House Office of Management and Budget. She was director of the New Mexico personnel office and worked in the Obama White House. 
  • Matt Lee-Ashley is senior director for lands and interim chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and was deputy chief of staff at the Interior Department during the Obama administration. 
  • Justin Pidot, a former law professor at the University of Arizona, was appointed general counsel at CEQ. He worked for the Interior Department under the Obama administration. 
  • Austin Brown joined CEQ as senior director for transportation emissions. Brown was executive director of the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy. 
  • Mark Chambers, CEQ’s new senior director for building emissions, was previously director of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s Office of Sustainability. 
  • Sara Gonzalez-Rothi, who was senior counsel on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, is CEQ’s new senior director for water. 
  • Jayni Hein, the new senior director for NEPA and counsel at CEQ, was an adjunct professor of law and the Natural Resources Director at the Institute for Policy Integrity. 
  • Andrew Mayock, CEQ’s new  federal chief sustainability officer, was a leader of the Climate 21 Project and served in the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration.

Communications

  • Mei Fong, formerly the communications director at the Center for Public Integrity, will on March 8 join Human Rights Watch as chief communications officer.
  • Allan Holmes, formerly an editor at the Center for Public Integrity, will become managing director of Government Matters, a nightly news program on WJLA 24/7 News in Washington, DC. He begins February 15.

COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced new non-federal members to a task force chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith to address health and social inequities related to COVID-19. 

They are: 

  • Mayra Alvarez of San Diego, California. She’s president of the Children’s Partnership. 
  • James Hildreth of Nashville, Tennessee. He’s president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College. 
  • Andrew Imparato of Sacramento, California. He’s a disability rights lawyer and the Executive Director of Disability Rights California. 
  • Victor Joseph of Tanana, Alaska. He was chief and chairman of the Tanana Chiefs Conference. 
  • Joneigh Khaldun of Lansing, Michigan. She is is the chief medical executive for the state of Michigan and the chief deputy director for health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Octavio Martinez of New Braunfels, Texas. He is the executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin. 
  • Tim Putnam of Batesville, Indiana. He is president and CEO of Margaret Mary Health. 
  • Vincent Toranzo of Pembroke Pines, Florida. He is a student from Broward County, Florida. 
  • Mary Turner of Plymouth, Minnesota. She is an ICU nurse at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association union. 
  • Homer Venters of Port Washington, New York. He is a physician and epidemiologist. 
  • Bobby Watts of Goodlettsville, Tennessee. He is CEO of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. 
  • Haeyoung Yoon of New York, New York. She is senior policy director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance. 

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