Michael Merrell has been hired as chief counsel for the Republican staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Merrell was an elections counsel to the Republican staff of the Senate Rules Committee. He has also worked as counsel to former Sen. Robert F. Bennett, R-Utah.
Allison Martin has been promoted to deputy legislative director for Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Martin was Alexander’s projects manager and legislative counsel. She has also worked as an aide to former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn and former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn.
Margaret Spellings has been hired as a member of the national steering committee at the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a debt reduction advocacy group. Spellings is the CEO of Spellings and Company, a consulting firm. She has served as secretary of Education under President George W. Bush. She also has served at the White House as a domestic policy adviser under Bush.
Timothy E. Wirth has also been hired as a member of the national steering committee at the Campaign to Fix the Debt. Wirth is vice chairman of the UN Foundation board. He has served as a Democratic representative and senator from Colorado. He also has served at the State Department as undersecretary of global affairs under President Bill Clinton.
Brian Frederick has been hired as vice president in the public affairs practice at public relations firm Porter Novelli Public Services. Frederick was the executive director of the Sports Fans Coalition. He has also worked as deputy editorial and research director for Media Matters, a liberal-leaning media watchdog group.
Kris Balderston has been appointed senior partner and general manager at Fleishman-Hillard. He was special representative for global partnerships at the State Department. He has served as senior policy adviser to former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine. He also worked as deputy chief of staff in the office of the secretary at the Labor Department.
Joe Kopfman has been promoted to executive vice president of contracts and administration and chief compliance officer at American Systems, a federal information technology company. He was vice president of contracts and administration. Kopfman also serves as chairman of the company’s ethics committee.
David L. Evans has been appointed executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. Evans was director of the Center for Sustainability: Earth, Energy, and Climate at Noblis Linc. He has worked as undersecretary for science at the Smithsonian Institution and as assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He was also deputy assistant administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Chris Billeter has been appointed vice president of digital media at JDA Frontline. He was deputy digital officer to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Tommy Schultz has been appointed director of the public affairs division at JDA frontline. He was the communications director for the Republican National Committee in New Hampshire during the 2012 presidential campaign.
The Dalai Lama greets House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., before a meeting with House leaders in the Capitol. The Dalai Lama was on the Hill to meet with members of the House and Senate and also presided of the Senate's morning prayer.