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America Rising Hires Three for 2016

Former Rep. Howard Berman speaks with staff as they try to keep the prying eyes of a tracker away in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican opposition research firm America Rising will announce Thursday three new additions to its senior leadership team for the 2016 cycle, as well as a handful of promotions, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

“America Rising is heading into the 2016 cycle equipped with one of the best teams of researchers and analysts in the game today,” Joe Pounder, president of America Rising, said in a statement. “Many of these individuals helped establish America Rising’s success last cycle, and with their leadership, we will be holding Democrats and the left accountable in 2016.”  

Allan Blutstein has joined the firm as vice president of Freedom of Information Act operations, placing him in charge of public records requests. Blutstein, who joined the firm after working at the government accountability firm Cause of Action, is a lawyer and public records expert. He previously worked as a principal legal adviser to the FOIA staff at the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Stability, as well as in the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy.  

Also joining the firm is Francis Brennan, who will serve as war-room director. Brennan held the same role on Republican Bruce Rauner's successful 2014 gubernatorial bid in Illinois.  

Natalie Gillam will serve as vice president of strategic initiatives and foreign policy. Gillam, who received a master's in international relations from the London School of Economics in 2014, served as deputy research director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2012.  

The firm also promoted two staffers from its 2014 leadership team.  

Alexandra Angel, who led the House research team in 2014, was promoted to vice president of presidential research for the 2016 cycle. And Dan Knight, who was a senior research analyst in the 2014 cycle, will now serve as vice president of House research for the 2016 cycle.  

Also staying with the firm is Byron Koay, a co-founder and managing director of America Rising, who will manage the Senate research team. Aaron Baer will continue in his role as vice president of tracking and video operations. Amanda Iovino will continue in her role as vice president of state initiatives.  

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