First Line of Defense

Posted March 11, 2003 at 5:51pm

Steven Cortese, majority staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee, is leaving Capitol Hill to go to work for defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. Cortese will become a vice president in the Washington operations group for programs and budget.

James Morhard, who is staff director for the subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the judiciary, will take over for Cortese as full committee staff director effective next week. Sid Ashworth will take over at the subcommittee on Defense.

Cortese, an Indiana native, has been a fixture on Senate Appropriations for more than a decade as the top aide to current Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

Cortese has served as both minority and majority staff director, although his specialty has been defense issues. He currently is both staff director for the full panel and the subcommittee on Defense, which Stevens also chairs.

Cortese graduated from Georgetown University in 1983 and began work with

the General Accounting Office as a budget analyst in 1985.

In 1986, he started with the Appropriations subcommittee on Defense as a staff assistant before becoming minority clerk in 1991.

Six years later, Cortese was appointed staff director for the full committee, thanks in part to his close relationship with Stevens.

“Steve has served the committee in exemplary fashion and I have accepted his resignation with regret,” the chairman said in a statement released by the panel.

“It’s been a great privilege for me to serve the committee over these years under the leadership of Senator Stevens,” Cortese said.

Morhard joined Appropriations in 1991, serving on the subcommittees on the District of Columbia, military construction and Defense. In 1995, he was appointed clerk for the subcommittee on military construction, and two years later moved over to the subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the judiciary, where he has served until now.

Cortese is the second senior Appropriations staffer that Lockheed Martin has hired in recent weeks. Greg Dahlberg, who was minority staff director on the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, recently joined the company as a vice president for legislative affairs.

DuPont Man. Frank Pugliese, a longtime official with the General Services Administration, has been appointed as managing director of the DuPont Government Business Development unit.

Pugliese spent almost three decades with GSA before retiring in August 2000 as commissioner of the Federal Supply Service.

He then joined Provant Inc., a supplier of training services and products. Several months later, he joined the Carmen Group, a lobbying shop specializing in transportation and appropriations issues, but left there after only a brief stint.