Harkin Adds Top Staff to HELP

Posted December 4, 2009 at 1:03pm

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has named a new staff director and deputy staff director to run the committee, his office announced Friday afternoon.Harkin, who assumed the HELP gavel following the Aug. 25 death of former Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), has named American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President Dan Smith as staff director. Smith is a former Harkin aide.Pam Smith, Harkin’s legislative director, will move over to HELP to become the committee’s deputy staff director. The two Smiths are not related. “The portfolio of this Committee is diverse and it centers around the issues that touch the daily lives of all Americans — assuring access to an affordable health system and quality education for all children, making sure workers have a right to organize, that their retirement is secure and that labor laws create possibilities for working families and the middle class,— Harkin said in a statement. “The opportunities before us are limitless, but with Dan and Pam’s staff leadership, they are achievable.—Dan Smith spent 10 years working for Harkin in the Senate, including four years as his chief of staff and two years as minority staff director on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. He is an Iowa native. Pam Smith has worked for Harkin since 2005, before which she served as senior director of government relations for the Catholic Health Association. She is an Illinois native.