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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosiís longtime chief of staff, John Lawrence, is retiring, and Nadeam Elshami, previously Pelosiís communications director, will replace him.
Lawrence presided as the California Democratís top aide, and as the most powerful staffer in the House, during her time as the first female speaker.
Before working for Pelosi, Lawrence was staff director for one of Pelosiís top lieutenants, Rep. George Miller, at the Education and the Workforce Committee. Lawrence came to Washington, D.C., with Miller in 1975 when the California Democrat was elected.
ďOn behalf of my colleagues, I want to thank John Lawrence for his 38 years of service to the House of Representatives. Few staff members have ever had the impact that John has had on so many laws that have been enacted in his years in my office as Speaker and as Democratic Leader,Ē Pelosi said in a statement.
Elshami has worked on Capitol Hill for 21 years and for Pelosi since 2007. He led messaging efforts on House passage of two touchstone legislative achievements for President Barack Obama and Pelosi: the health care overhaul and the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.
In addition to Elshami replacing Lawrence, three other aides are being promoted or given expanded responsibilities.
George Kundanis, Pelosiís deputy chief of staff, will be given an ďexpanded role for legislative and Member responsibilities,Ē according to a release from Pelosiís office.
Diane Dewhirst is being promoted to be another Pelosi deputy chief of staff, with ďa portfolio focused on strategic planning.Ē
Drew Hammill will take Elshamiís previous position as communications director.
The news of Lawrence retiring was first reported by Politico.