Blue Hen Buzz

Posted May 2, 2003 at 4:31pm

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) acquires a duo of seasoned journalists for his press shop.

Communications Director Bill Ghent arrives at the Carper operation after a tenure in the Fourth Estate as a budget and appropriations reporter for Congress Daily and earlier as a budget, appropriations and tax reporter for National Journal News Service.

The 31-year-old Harrisburg, Ill., native received his bachelor’s in history from Trinity College in Connecticut and later went on to earn a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.

He is joined by Meredith Vinokur, who becomes press secretary but will be based out of Carper’s Delaware office.

The former television reporter and producer for Philadelphia/Wilmington-based WHYY-TV and reporter for WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Md./Dover, Del., has also worked as a producer for PLus Media in New York.

Hailing from Wilmington, Del., the 28-year-old Vinokur holds a 1997 bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.

Lucky for Lieberman. After two years as deputy press secretary, Casey Aden-

Wansbury gets the nod to become press secretary to Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.).

Aden-Wansbury, a native of Eureka, Calif., is a 1998 graduate of Smith College, where she earned a bachelor’s in government.

Prior to arriving on the Hill, the 27-year-old Aden-Wansbury served as a deputy press secretary for the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign.

She earlier spent time working for lobbying firms Podesta Associates and Simon Strategies.

Dazzling Dafna. Dafna Hochman may be just 25 years old, but Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-N.J.) new foreign affairs legislative assistant has already witnessed first-hand the trauma of one of the most conflicted regions in the world.

After graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor’s in political science and economics in 2000, Hochman headed to Israel’s West Bank to work for the Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development. Just three months later, the intifada broke out, leading to what was “an incredibly devastating year” for Hochman, who had intended to help promote relationships between Palestinian and Israeli business leaders.

When the Lexington, Mass., native returned to the United States in June 2001, she took a position as a Middle East research associate with the Council on Foreign Relations, where she served as Middle East expert Kenneth Pollack’s researcher for his book, “The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.”

After Lautenberg’s successful campaign last fall, Hochman joined the Garden State Senator’s office as foreign affairs legislative correspondent in November 2002.

The internationally minded maven — one of just a handful of women to hold the position of foreign affairs legislative assistant in the world’s most exclusive club — says legislative priorities include the reconstruction of Iraq, repairing key alliances, and re-engaging in the Arab-Israeli peace process.

A former State Department intern in Paris, Hochman speaks French and Hebrew and is in the process of learning Arabic.