Former Heritage staff fill Trump Administration

Since January, numerous Heritage employees have gone on to serve in the Trump Administration. Below is an updated list of 52 Heritage staff who have assumed or are in the nomination process for positions in the Administration, including nearly ten advisors, four center directors, two general counsel, one chiefs of staff, four deputy directors, one director, and one secretary. This does not include the numerous individuals who served as part of the transition efforts.

We congratulate our former coworkers on these positions and are excited to see the work they do as they apply their expertise to tackling today’s critical issues.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Nina Owcharenko, is now a senior advisor within the Department of Health and Human Services. She formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow. Owcharenko is well known as a champion of patient choice and robust competition in America’s health insurance markets. For years, she has advanced free-market, patient-centered solutions that fix the real problems in America’s healthcare system.
  • Roger Severino, is the new director of the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. He formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. Prior to his time at Heritage, Severino was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He previously worked as the Chief Operations Officer and Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Department of the Interior

  • Ryan Nichols, is now serving as an advisor in the Office of Water and Science within the Department of Interior. He formerly served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. Over the past five years, Nichols has helped strengthen and align key players in the conservative movement by serving as a liaison to non-partisan conservative organizations.
  • Lori Mashburn, serves as the White House liaison to the Department of the Interior. Formerly she served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. As a key member of Heritage’s coalition relations team, Lori worked with conservative state allies to advance shared policy priorities.
  • Elinor Werner, serves as the Executive Assistant to Secretary of the Interior. She formerly served as Heritage’s Assistant Director of the Young Leaders Program.

Department of Defense

  • Charles “Cully” Stimson, has been nominated to serve as General Counsel of the Department of the U.S. Navy. He manages Heritage’s National Security Law Program, is a Senior Legal Fellow in Heritage’s Center for National Defense and is Chief of Staff for Dr. Ed Feulner. Stimson is a widely recognized expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, drug policy & immigration.
  • Justin Johnson, is serving at the Pentagon and conducts research on related defense budgeting matters. He formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting policy. While at Heritage, Johnson conducted important research on how to achieve a fully-equipped, combat-ready military, as outlined in his recent Heritage report “Congress Should Enact a Strong Defense Budget in FY 2017.”
  • Brian Slattery, currently serves as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe/NATO. He formerly served as a policy analyst in Heritage’s Center for National Defense. At Heritage, Slattery advocated for a strong national defense and robust security enterprise, focusing particularly on maritime security, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Arctic.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in DOD: Rebecca Buchheit, Beachhead/White House Liaison

Office of Management and the Budget

  • Russ Vought, has been nominated to serve as Deputy Director of the Office of the Management and Budget. Russ formerly served as Heritage Action’s vice president of grassroots outreach.
  • Lisa Curtis, now leads the Trump National Security Council’s work on South and Central Asia. A former CIA analyst and senior advisor in the Bush White House, Lisa formerly served as a Research Fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center. At Heritage, Curtis analyzed America’s economic, security and political relationships with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other nations of South Asia as a senior research fellow.
  • Jessica Anderson, has joined the Office of Management and Budget to help restore fiscal responsibility. She formerly served as the grassroots director for Heritage Action for America.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in OMB: John Gray, advisor; Brad Bishop, Confidential Assistant to the Associate Director; Amanda Robbins, Confidential Assistant.

Other White House Positions

  • Paul Winfree, serves as deputy assistant to the president, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and director of budget policy. He formerly served as director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Winfree, well-known in Washington for his tough stance on fiscal responsibility, took a leading role in drafting Heritage’s budget plan, and Politico named him “one of the most important people in the Administration to watch.” Roll Call highlighted Winfree in a list of rising stars in the Administration.
  • Hans von Spakovsky, has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on voter fraud. The appointment of von Spakovsky is a testament to the extensive work he has done throughout his career, specializing in voting and election issues including campaign finance reform, voter fraud, and election administration.  A former Commissioner at the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice official, von Spakovsky currently runs the Election Law Reform Initiative at Heritage.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in other White House positions: Rick Dearborn, Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Cabinet Affairs; Matt Flynn, Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, Executive Office of the President; Duncan Braid, Vetting; Lara Barger, Digital Media; Brian Blasé, Special Assistant to the President for Health Care Policy; Sean Doocey, Deputy Director, Presidential Personnel; Emily Lataif, Executive Assistant to the Staff Secretary

Department of State

  • Brittany Balmer,  works in the State Department as Protocol Officer for Diplomatic Visits and Ceremonies. She formerly served as Heritage’s Senior Event Producer. Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: William Wolfe, Congressional Advisor/Legislative Affairs; Ory Rinat, Beachhead team; Mary Monica Allen, Executive Assistant

Department of Homeland Security

  • John Mitnickhas been nominated to serve as to general counsel in the Department of Homeland Security. He currently serves as Heritage’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, general counsel’s office. At Heritage, Mitnick advises on and oversees all legal, regulatory, and compliance matters . His experience prior to Heritage includes serving as an Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House, Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council, and Associate General Counsel for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Diem (Nguyen) Salmon, currently serves as Chief of Staff in the DHS and formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting.

Department of Transportation

  • Elaine Chao, serves as the United States Secretary of Transportation. She formerly served as a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Chao also previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009. Secretary Chao’s distinguished career spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has served as President and CEO of United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator, a White House Fellow, Vice President of Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group, and a banker with Citicorp in New York.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: Owen Morgan, Special Assistant.

National Institute of Justice

  • David Muhlhausen, has been appointed Director of the NIJ.  He formerly served as Heritage’s research fellow in empirical policy analysis. Muhlhausen is a leading expert on evaluating the effectiveness of federal social programs, and a veteran analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Muhlhausen joined Heritage in 1999 after serving on the staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he specialized in crime and juvenile justice policies. He previously was a manager at a juvenile correctional facility in Baltimore.

Environmental Protection Agency

  • David Kreutzer, worked on a beachhead team within the EPA (during which time he helped undo Obama-era climate initiatives). He formerly served at Heritage as a senior research fellow on energy economics and climate change and has returned to Heritage where he continues to research and write about labor markets and trade.

Department of Labor

  • James Sherk, has taken on an influential role on a beachhead team within the Department of Labor. James formerly served as a Heritage research fellow in labor economics. Sherk’s research has helped equip right-to-work states with the ammo they need to resist union coercion and bad labor policy.

Department of Transportation:

  • Nick Yonkovich, Special Assistant to the CFO.
  • Tina Henry, Special Assistant for Scheduling
  • Andrew Fink, Special Assistant for Advance

Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • William Gribbin, speech writer for HUD Secretary Ben Carson
  • Anne Gribbin, Special Assistant
  • Benjamin Hobbs, Special Policy Advisor, Office of Public and Indian Housing

Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Laura Trueman, Special Assistant
  • Matt Grinney, Speechwriter
  • Steve Wagner, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families

Office of the Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Jeet Gurram, Senior Advisor
  • Randy Pate, Deputy Administrator

Office of Personnel Management

  • Mike Rigas, nominated to be Deputy Director
  • Anthony Campau

Department of Education

  • Gerren McHam, Government Affairs
  • Jessica Newman, Office of the Secretary as Director of Scheduling

Small Business Administration: Maryann Bradfield, Chief of Staff

National Economic Council: Maggie Delahoyde, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director

What is the most important policy these conservative leaders can advance while serving in the administration?

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