- The Transportation Department hired a top science advisor, a post that was vacant for over 40 years.
- The Democratic National Committee made moves on 10 communications pros.
- Trump administration alum Ben Carson now has a consulting gig.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Robert C. Hampshire is filling a job in the federal government that’s been empty since the Reagan era.
Department of Transportation officials on Wednesday reported that they hadn’t had a chief science officer for more than 40 years — which means Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s newest advisor has a lot to catch up on.
“Climate resilience and environmental justice are at the heart of this Administration’s mission to build back better — and that effort must be grounded in scientific expertise,” Buttigieg said in a press release announcing the appointment.
Hampshire, who previously worked as an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, has been tasked with ensuring that DOT programs are scientifically sound and conducted with integrity.
“It is important that USDOT incorporate scientific research to advance climate change initiatives that are fair and equitable to all,” Hampshire said in a release, adding that he expected to evaluate “all modes of transportation” for immediate needs, as well as “to ensure our future transportation system is sustainable.”
DOT is also resurrecting its Climate Change Center, a Clinton-era carryover that the Biden administration said “has been dormant since 2017.” The agency is projected to conduct climate-related research and develop policies to help achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
Here is Insider’s roundup of other notable moves in Washington for the week of April 19.
Natalie Montelongo joins the White House as the deputy director at the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. She’s a veteran of Julián Castro’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.
Justin Levitt, a Department of Justice official in the Obama administration, has joined the Biden administration as a White House policy advisor for democracy and voting rights.
Ben Carson, who was the Trump administration’s secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is now a special consultant for Galectin Therapeutics Inc.
Johanna Warshaw joined the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a regional press secretary. She most recently served as the press secretary for Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas.
Evan Giesemann has switched from the House to Senate, taking a tax- and labor-policy advisor post in the office of Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware. Giesemann previously worked for Democratic Reps. Terri Sewell of Alabama and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin.
Diem-Mi Lu recently joined the office of Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland as a policy advisor covering issues that include banking and housing. She was previously a senior policy advisor and legislative counsel to Democratic Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois.
Communications & media
The Democratic National Committee announced a slew of promotions and hires this week:
- Lucas Acosta is now the coalitions director and senior spokesman at the DNC.
- Allyson Bayless is now a communications associate at the DNC.
- Adonna Biel is now the deputy rapid-response director at the DNC.
- Cassidy Geoghegan is now the deputy states communications director at the DNC.
- Brooke Goren is now the states communications director at the DNC.
- Enrique Gutiérrez is now a regional press secretary and Hispanic media advisor at the DNC.
- Hyma Moore is now a regional press secretary at the DNC.
- Ammar Moussa is now the rapid-response director at the DNC.
- Darcy Palder is now a press assistant at the DNC.
- Daniel Wessel is now the deputy communications director at the DNC.
Ninio Fetalvo, a former spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Trump administration, is now an associate at Brunswick Group.
Tina Reed, a former executive editor at FierceHealthcare, is now the healthcare editor at Axios.
Kelsey Donohue joins Snap Inc. and will work on the communications team with a focus on public policy. She’s an alum of Michelle Obama’s press team.
Liz Goodwin is now the Washington bureau chief of The Boston Globe. She previously served as the deputy chief of the bureau.
Alexis Gravely joined Inside Higher Ed as a federal policy reporter. She previously worked as a Capitol Hill reporter for Tax Notes.
Kira Lerner is now a senior news editor at the PBS NewsHour. She previously worked as the managing editor of Votebeat, a project of the nonprofit news organization Chalkbeat.
Lobbying and advocacy
Phoebe Ferraiolo is now a manager at the government-relations firm Cogent Strategies. She previously served as a deputy press secretary for Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine.
Richard Zuckerman, who led the Justice Department’s tax division under the Trump administration, returned to Honigman LLP as a partner in the law firm’s Detroit office. Zuckerman spent 30 years at the firm before joining the Trump administration in 2017.
Andrea Hechavarria is now vice president of government affairs for Butterfly Network Inc., a digital-health company. She previously worked as a federal-affairs and public-policy staffer for 3M.
Sahil Mehrotra has joined Everytown for Gun Safety as the nonprofit group’s deputy press secretary. He previously worked as the national press secretary for America Votes.
Sylvester Giustino is now a senior director of federal- and state-government affairs at the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. He previously worked as the deputy director for the US Department of Labor’s Office of Public Liaison.
Michael Sherwin, the former acting US attorney in Washington who oversaw the initial wave of prosecutions stemming from the Capitol riot, has joined the law firm Kobre & Kim. At the end of his government tenure, Sherwin was investigated by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility after blindsiding Biden-appointed leaders with a “60 Minutes” interview that appeared to violate policies and court rules against speaking publicly about pending cases.
LeVar Burton, of “Roots,” “Reading Rainbow,” and “Star Trek” fame, has scored a grassroots-campaign victory by securing a guest-hosting spot on the celebrated quiz show “Jeopardy.”
Burton will be filling in for the late Alex Trebek after over 248,000 (and counting) supporters signed a Change.org petition to have him lead the nightly program. Other guest hosts helping to close out the quiz show’s 37th season include the Clinton White House spokesman turned ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.