CYBER-COUNSEL. Jacob Olcott is now working as counsel at the Senate Commerce Committee. He is handling cybersecurity, information technology, science and space issues. Olcott was staff director and counsel for the House Homeland Security Emerging Threats Subcommittee. He graduated with a history degree from the University of Texas.
U-S-A-A! Erin Martinko has joined USAA, which provides banking, insurance and financial services to the U.S. military and their families. She is the director of government relations in USAA's Washington office. Martinko spent six years on Capitol Hill, working as legislative director to the late Rep. Paul Gillmor, R-Ohio, and as an aide to the late Rep. Herbert Bateman, R-Va. More recently, Martinko was senior counsel at Federal Financial Analytics and worked in regulatory policy at Fannie Mae. Martinko grew up in Newark, N.Y., before graduating from Cornell University and earning her law degree from George Mason University.
GREEN MOVEMENT. There's been some shuffling in the office of Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas. Abigail Pinkele was recently promoted from senior legislative assistant to legislative director. Pinkele started out as a scheduler for Green and was an assistant on energy and transportation issues. Green has brought in two legislative assistants as well: Nathaniel Tipton, who comes over from the office of Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., and Sergio Espinosa, who recently worked for Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. Lindsay Mosshart, a legislative assistant with Green, has recently taken over an energy and environment portfolio. She had worked as both a scheduler and staff assistant at the office.
CHIRPING IN D.C. Wireless services provider Cricket Communications recently announced it is opening a Washington government relations office. Russ Merberth will head up the shop as vice president of government affairs. Merberth most recently worked as federal counsel and assistant general counsel for competitive local exchange carrier Integra Telecom. He has served in similar capacities for Birch Telecom, Eschelon Telecom and Winstar Wireless. He also sat on the executive committee of the board at COMPTEL, an industry association that represents communications service providers and their suppliers.
GOOD OMEN. Alison Omens is returning to the AFL-CIO as director of media outreach. She had done an earlier stint at the union federation as a media outreach specialist. Most recently, Omens was a senior communications specialist at Working America, which is a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
This article appears in the June 19, 2010, edition of NJ Daily.