Back to School

Posted August 12, 2005 at 3:43pm

After previously serving as chief of staff to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Jim Foley is leaving Capitol Hill to take a highly coveted position in the office of the president.

No, not President Bush. Foley’s new destination isn’t the White House; he is headed instead for the office of University of Montana President George Dennison, who has tapped him to become an executive assistant and also the school’s new vice president, according to a July 19 report in the Missoulian.

Foley should be reasonably familiar with the University of Montana campus already. Before becoming Baucus’ chief of staff, Foley was director of corporate, foundation and government relations at the university from 1997 to 2000.

Although he won’t arrive in the president’s office without any background in higher education, most of Foley’s professional experience has come in politics. Before his first stint at the University of Montana, Foley served as staff director to former Rep. Pat Williams (D-Mont.) from 1989 to 1996. He worked as Williams’ legislative assistant from 1983 to 1988, and from 1977 to 1983 Foley worked in the Montana governor’s office and at the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

In his new role, Foley’s chief responsibility will be to oversee marketing and public relations. He will also guide the president’s advisory council and help coordinate communication with the university’s satellite campuses. Dennison promises that “he’ll be very busy.”

Foley went to high school in Helena, Montana’s capital city, and he is a graduate of St. John’s University.

Computer Expert Makes Exit. With 15 years of service as the chief information officer for the House Government Reform Committee under her belt, Corinne Zaccagnini is leaving for Network Appliance Inc., an information technology storage company, where she will serve as lead sales representative to Congress, several executive branch agencies and a handful of quasi-federal agencies such as the Smithsonian.

The House Government Reform Committee has more employees than any other committee in Congress. At one point, it employed more than 170 staffers, which made managing its IT infrastructure a formidable challenge, but a challenge for which Zaccagnini was well prepared.

During her tenure, Zaccagnini conceived of and helped implement several IT improvement projects. She spearheaded the development of the committee’s investigative database, arranged for its hearings to be broadcast over the House cable television system and supervised the creation of the first fully digital, broadcast-ready hearing room, which enabled the general public to view committee hearings on the Internet.

Zaccagnini has been the committee’s chief information officer for eight years. Before accepting this position, she began her Hill career on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, aka the “Helsinki Commission,” chaired by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).