House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday announced that Nadeam Elshami--her communications director--will take over as her chief of staff, succeeding John Lawrence, who will leave on Feb. 1 after eight years in that position.
Elshami is a 21-year veteran of the House and Senate whose first job on Capitol Hill was in the Senate mail room. “For the past six years, Nadeam has been a key communications strategist, spokesperson, and senior adviser," Pelosi said. "I know my colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus will benefit from his leadership as he transitions to chief of staff.”
He succeeds Lawrence, who has logged 38 years of service to the House. In Pelosi's announcement, she noted that National Journal has identified Lawrence as the longest-serving staff person currently in the House. “Few staff members have ever had the impact that John has had on so many laws that have been enacted in his years in my office as speaker and as Democratic leader,” and in his previous roles as well, she said.
Pelosi also announced that other staffers will also get promotions or expand their roles. George Kundanis will continue as deputy chief of staff, with an expanded role for legislative and member responsibilities; Diane Dewhirst will be a deputy chief of staff focusing on strategic planning; and Drew Hammill will move up to communications director and senior adviser, after serving as Elshami’s deputy communications director.