Whip It Good

Posted March 5, 2004 at 2:19pm

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) announced late last month that he has picked up a new floor assistant in his Whip office.

Serena Underwood, 25, has replaced Amy Swonger, who left the office to serve as deputy assistant for legislative affairs in Vice President Cheney’s office.

Prior to joining McConnell’s staff, Underwood worked as legislative director to Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.). Underwood, who began her new duties last week, is a native of Land O’Lakes, Fla., and a 1999 graduate of the University of Florida.

Bank on It. Peter Erdman, who has worked as a professional staff member on the House Financial Services Committee since January 2003, has recently been selected by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to serve as a Congressional analyst. Erdman will now act as a liaison with Members, interest constituencies and other federal agencies on legislation affecting the bank.

Erdman is also a six-year veteran of Rep. Mike Oxley’s (R-Ohio) staff, where he worked as a legislative assistant covering armed services, defense and other issues. [IMGCAP(1)]

Pickering’s Naval Pickup. Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) announced the appointment of Navy officer Mike Lipski as the new special projects director in his Capitol Hill office.

Lipski comes to Pickering’s office from his position as the executive officer of the Navy’s Engineering Field Activity Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla. During his 20 years in the Navy, Lipski was a surface warfare officer on the USS Oliver Hazard Perry, served in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps and worked on the staff of the chief of Naval operations in the Pentagon. His previous Hill experience includes a term as Navy legislative fellow on Sen. Trent Lott’s (R-Miss.) national security staff.3

As Pickering’s special projects director, Lipski will be charged with coordinating the Congressman’s efforts to defend against base closings. He will also oversee Pickering’s military, homeland security and economic priorities. He replaces Deputy Chief of Staff John Rounsaville, who left Pickering’s staff earlier this year to serve as policy adviser to new Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R).

Lipski is a decorated officer who has received two Meritorious Service Medals, two Commendation Medals and two Achievement Medals from the Navy. He graduated from the University of Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.