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Feinstein Gets a New Chief, Loses Trade Adviser | Hill Climbers

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
The move by Quayle, above, to Clark Hill PLC comes less than a year after his first and only term ended in a tight primary loss to fellow Republican Schweikert.

The office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is undergoing several transitions this month. On Monday, the senator announced that Chris Thompson, her longtime chief of staff, will be returning to California. He will be replaced by Jennifer Duck.

Duck comes most immediately from the government relations and corporate leadership department of Pfizer Inc., but she is a veteran Senate staffer. Prior to Pfizer, Duck worked as staff director and chief counsel to Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as counsel to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Earlier this month, Rich Harper, a Feinstein staffer for 15 years, left the Hill to join the Outdoor Industry Association in its new Washington, D.C., offices.

In his position as trade policy adviser, Harper will build on his experience as Feinstein’s legislative assistant for trade, foreign policy and defense and also bring personal enthusiasm to OIA’s broader focus on outdoor recreation. The San Francisco native is an avid skier, hiker and an Eagle Scout; he told CQ Roll Call that he intends to make the most of regular trips to OIA’s headquarters in Boulder, Colo.

Quayle Goes to Clark Hill

The law firm Clark Hill PLC has hired former Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz. Quayle’s move to the law firm comes less than a year after his first and only term ended in a tight primary loss to fellow Republican Rep. David Schweikert.

During his tenure on the Hill, Quayle served as a member of the Judiciary, Homeland Security and Science, Space and Technology committees.

Quayle will be working in Clark Hill’s government and public affairs group under Charlie Spies, a top Republican strategist and co-founder of the conservative Restore Our Future. Quayle told CQ Roll Call that a 2014 run for office is out of the cards, but anything else is an open question. “On the political side, there’s nothing on the radar for me right now,” Quayle said. “2014 is definitely not happening, but who knows what’ll happen sometime down the road.”

Emerson Goes With Growth

Langston Emerson, a former senior aide to Rep. Michael E. Capuano, D-Mass., and ex-Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick , D-Mich., has been hired as vice president of government affairs at the Private Equity Growth Capital Council.

Emerson spent 10 years on the Hill as an aide on financial services, banking, tax and economic policy. Most recently he worked for the legislative arm of the financial services company TIAA-CREF. In his new position, Emerson will focus on financial regulation and advocate on behalf of the private equity and growth capital industry.

Ridlon Heading to Bipartisan Position

Ashley Ridlon, a former legislative assistant to ex-Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., has moved to the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network, where she will manage advocacy efforts on health and budget issues.

Ridlon is new to the world of think tanks, but is no stranger to health policy. She helped develop health insurance provisions in the Affordable Care Act during her five years under Lincoln and more recently led hospital and care initiatives at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“With rising health care costs and budget issues consuming debate in Congress, Ashley’s issue expertise and knowledge of the policy process will serve BPR very well,” President Jason Grumet said in a statement.

Send news of hires and promotions on Capitol Hill to climbers@rollcall.com.

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