Team Tester

Posted January 19, 2007 at 4:26pm

What Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) — the big man from Big Sandy — wants, he gets. And what he’s got is four top staffers to aid him in his inaugural term on Capitol Hill. [IMGCAP(1)]

Serving as chief of staff for Tester is Stephanie Schriock, 33. She previously worked in the same role for Montanans for Tester.


Before joining Tester’s team, Schriock was senior adviser to Skyline Public Works from 2005 to 2006. From 2002 to 2004 she worked as the national finance director for Dean for America, and from 1999 to 2002 she worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.


Schriock earned her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University at Mankato in 1995 and a master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University in 1997.


Matt McKenna, 29, will work for Tester in the same capacity that he worked for during his Senate campaign — as communications director.


Prior to the campaign, McKenna worked as communications director for both the Montana Democratic Party and Tony Knowles for U.S. Senate. He also previously worked for the DSCC, as research director for Friends of Max Cleland, as an aide to then-Montana state Senate Minority Whip Tester, and as research director for Brian Schweitzer for U.S. Senate.


McKenna wrote in an e-mail that he has “worked on United States Senate campaigns in five American time zones.”


From Bozeman, Mont., McKenna studied at Montana State University.


Serving as Tester’s legislative director for the 110th Congress is Bridget Walsh. [IMGCAP(2)]


Before taking on her new position, she served as deputy legislative director and counsel to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). Walsh also worked on the Kerry/Edwards legal team in Florida, for Tim Johnson for South Dakota in 2002, and as an attorney in Chicago.


Walsh, who said she played on the boys’ tennis team while in high school, is from Peru, Ill. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1991 and a law degree from Loyola University in 1994.


Aaron Murphy, 27, a former park ranger for Yellowstone National Park, will serve as Tester’s press secretary. He previously worked as deputy communications director for Montanans for Tester.


Prior to joining Tester’s campaign, Murphy worked as executive producer of KTVQ-TV in Billings, Mont., and as producer of KGW-TV in Portland, Ore.


From Cody, Wyo., Murphy graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2001.


“We’re putting together a staff that will be very responsive to Montana’s needs,” Tester said in a statement. “These folks are smart, hardworking public servants.”


Committee Pros. The House Science and Technology Committee is adding a couple of professionals to its ranks.


Louis Finkel, 34, joins the committee as its director of policy and outreach. In that role he will be responsible for “managing the committee’s agenda and … organiz[ing] the Chairman’s effort to reach a broad spectrum of constituencies with interests in the committee,” he wrote in an e-mail.


Talking about his pledge to make his committee one of “good ideas and consensus,” Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) said in a statement that Finkel “is key to implementing that pledge.”


“He will steer our committee agenda and organize our efforts to reach out to folks interested in the business of the committee,” he said. “His unique balance of Hill and private sector experience make him extensively qualified for the task.”


Before accepting the job, Finkel worked as a federal affairs consultant for ExxonMobil Corp. since 2006. Before that, Finkel worked for the government relations firm Lent Scrivner & Roth from 2001 to 2006. On the Hill, he worked as the legislative director for Gordon’s personal office from 1998 to 2001 and as a legislative assistant in the office from 1996 to 1997. From 1993 to 1996, he worked as a staff assistant, legislative correspondent and legislative assistant in then-Rep. Peter Deutsch’s (D-Fla.) office.


A graduate of The George Washington University in 1995, Finkel is from Coral Springs, Fla.


Also joining the committee is Alisa Ferguson, 31. Ferguson will serve as legislative director.


Prior to joining the committee, Ferguson worked as a legislative assistant in Gordon’s personal office since 2003. Before that, she was a legislative assistant to Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.). She also did policy work in the private sector from 1998 to 2001.


“Alisa has an outstanding background in policy and a proven record of getting things done on Capitol Hill,” Gordon said in a statement.


As a food aficionado, Ferguson said she knows Washington, D.C.’s restaurant scene.


“Among friends and colleagues,” she wrote in an e-mail, “I am the definitive source for D.C. restaurant recommendations.”


From Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Ferguson earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1998.


Nadler’s New Hires. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has added a couple of new staffers to his office.


Ari Goldberg, 33, will work as the new communications director in the office.


Prior to joining Nadler, Goldberg worked as the senior public affairs officer at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs from 2005 to 2006. From 2004 to 2005 he was an American history producer for C-SPAN, and from 2003 to 2004 he worked as an American Political Science Association Journalism Fellow in the office of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.). Goldberg also has worked as a news producer for the BBC in Jerusalem and for the CBS affiliate in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.


When asked about what is interesting about him, Goldberg bypassed the question and said that he would prefer to talk about his interesting family.


“My wife and kids are far more interesting than I am,” he wrote in an e-mail. “My wife, Rachell, was a tank mechanic in the Israeli army … . My daughter Eilah, 3, is a self described ‘ballerina princess,’ and my son Gabriel, 16 months, has developed an extraordinary ability to quack like a duck.”


While Goldberg said he looks forward to working for Nadler and helping move forward his agenda, he also hopes working in the Capitol will aid him in fulfilling his New Year’s resolution.


“Last year, I joined a downtown gym for three months and went exactly … zero times,” he said. “I’ve joined the House gym now. I resolve to make it at least once a week in order to lose my ‘one pack.’”


Goldberg earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in modern Hebrew literature from the University of Cambridge. He also spent “two years studying Jewish law, philosophy and history in a Jerusalem yeshiva.”


Also joining Nadler’s office is Carole Angel, 26, who will work as a legislative assistant in the office. She will be responsible for dealing with Judiciary Committee matters and foreign affairs issues in the office.


Prior to joining the office, Angel was a staff attorney in the Immigrant Women Program at Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) from 2005 to 2006.


“I was born in Israel,” Angel wrote in an e-mail, “[and] raised all over the country, and now am happy to call D.C. my home.” That is probably why Angel claims the cities of Jerusalem, Buffalo, N.Y, Portland, Ore., and Baltimore all to be her hometown.


A graduate of the University of Maryland in 2001, Angel went on to earn her law degree from the same institution in 2005.