Naming Dilemma

Posted January 4, 2008 at 5:48pm

Greg or Gregory? That’s the question for Sen. John Barrasso’s (R-Wyo.) new communications director.

“My wife, mother and the traffic police call me Gregory when I am in trouble — so Greg is fine,” 39-year-old Greg Keeley wrote in an e-mail.

He was born in Fremantle, Australia, but said his adopted hometown is Wolf Creek, Wyo., where his wife, Katie Kane, and her family are original “homesteaders.”

“According to one of the elders they literally ‘buried Custer,’” he wrote. [IMGCAP(1)]

Keeley’s parents live in Yallingyup, Australia, which is south of Perth, and his brother, Chris, lives in Sydney.

The new communications director has a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Curtin University in Perth, and a master’s degree in international relations with a focus on security and terrorism from Deakin University in Melbourne.

He also is a graduate officer of the Royal Australian Naval College in Sydney. He served as a lieutenant commander in the Royal Australian Navy.

In addition, Keeley was press secretary to the chairman of defense in the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee of the Australian Parliament and was an Australian liaison officer to the Pentagon. During that job he was deployed to Iraq. He then was a strategic adviser to the secretary of defense material in the Australian Department of Defence, Canberra.

Keeley comes to Barrasso’s office after serving Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), also in the position of communications director.

He is looking forward to becoming a U.S. citizen in January or February, depending on the timing of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

“I have been poring over the potential citizenship questions … it would be a tad embarrassing looking out at the Capitol all day and not passing the test!” Keeley wrote. [IMGCAP(2)]

Despite his achievements, Keeley has the humble goal of retiring early “to the Big Horn Range in Wyoming with a wrap-around porch and plenty of slow-moving elk.”

He also wanted to make sure readers of Roll Call were aware of the animal he would most like to see extinct. It is apparently called a ROUS (rat of unusual size). These rats “infest the area around Eastern Market” and are “as big as footballs,” he claims.

Ryan Taylor is Keeley’s new deputy communications director, after serving Barrasso as deputy press secretary.

Taylor is from Rawlins, Wyo., and formerly worked for Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee as part of the communications department.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wyoming in 2004.

In his spare time, Taylor is a fantasy football junkie.

But since he is a big Denver Broncos fan, “that’s all come to a crashing halt,” he said.

He is a big Wyoming fan as well.

“I’m delighted to be working for Sen. Barrasso,” he said. “I came here to start working on Wyoming issues, because that’s what mattered to me most.”

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