July 24, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Hill Climbers: Military Family Shaped Marchand’s Future

Tom Williams/Roll Call
Amber Marchand, a self-described “Army brat,” learned about serving her country at an early age before going on to work for freshman Sen. Roy Blunt.

Amber Marchand’s childhood gave her two advantages: As an “Army brat,” she became used to moving around, and she grew up with an appreciation for all things military.

Those qualities have brought her to her new post as communications director for freshman Sen. Roy Blunt.

“I’m an Army brat,” Marchand said. “My family is from the Midwest, I was born in Georgia and my folks moved to Northern Virginia.”

Although the 29-year-old’s gig with the Missouri Republican is her first time working for a Senator, this isn’t her first foray into government.

After graduating from Penn State University with degrees in public relations and psychology in 2003, Marchand was offered a job in the press office of the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Tom Ridge. The
Cabinet post had just been created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Marchand said her family background inspired her to pursue a career in government. Not only did her father work in the Pentagon, but she also grew up on a military base until she was in high school because her parents and stepfather were all career Army officers.

“I’ve always been interested in military-related issues and veterans, because that’s the environment I grew up in,” she said. “Being able to put my degree to use in an environment that’s so meaningful to me is perfect.”

Marchand then transitioned to the House Homeland Security Committee under Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). She worked as a press secretary there for almost a year. During her time with the committee, she met her future husband, Sterling.

While Sterling went to night school to complete his law degree, Marchand decided it was time for a change of pace.

In 2006, she joined the campaign for Lynn Swann (R), a former Pittsburgh Steeler who was running for Pennsylvania governor.

“My husband and I were definitely not on a normal schedule,” Marchand said, laughing.

She traveled with Swann as his deputy communications director for eight months. Although Swann did not win the race, Marchand learned invaluable experience on the campaign trail, including multitasking and thinking on her feet.

In 2007, Marchand moved to the press office at the Republican National Committee. She covered the Southeast region until she was promoted to deputy press secretary in 2008.

A year later, Marchand again decided it was time for a change. She began working as a national press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, where she was responsible for 10 campaigns in the 2010 election cycle.

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