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HELP MATES. House Education and Labor Chairman George Miller has announced several changes to his panel staff. Jose P. Garza, most recently an assistant federal public defender in the Western District of Texas, has been tapped as deputy general counsel for committee Democrats. He is a former Congressional Hispanic Caucus law fellow in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts in Washington. On the policy side, Ruth Friedman has been named deputy director of education policy. Previously the committee's senior education policy adviser, Friedman is a former academic who specializes in poverty's impacts on children and families. She received a master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, a doctorate in clinical psychology from Arizona State University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the American Psychological Association. Joining the committee's majority staff are Livia Lam, Laura Schifter and Gabrielle Serra. Lam comes from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where she was a labor policy adviser under the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and current HELP Chairman Tom Harkin. She also worked for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. Schifter is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, investigating policies related to students with disabilities. She has interned with the White House Domestic Policy Council, served as an education fellow for Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and taught elementary school in San Francisco. Serra is the committee's new education and nutrition policy adviser. A native of Westlake, Ore., Serra received a master's from Tufts University and spent seven years at USDA. In the committee's press office, Nu Wexler, most recently account director at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, has been named communications director. Wexler has worked for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and former Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., and was executive director of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

FUELED UP. John Lynn is retiring as president and CEO of the Methanol Institute. Lynn joined the advocacy group in 1996, after 25 years on Capitol Hill, first as chief of staff to former Rep. James Jones, D-Okla., and then as chief of staff to former Sens. Bennett Johnston, D-La., and Tim Wirth, D-Colo. Gregory Dolan has been promoted from vice president for communications and policy to executive director. He is also on the board of the U.S. Fuel Cell Council. Roland Yap, formerly vice president for Asia/Middle East, has been promoted to executive director and will oversee the association's activities in Asia and the Middle East from their Singapore office.


This article appears in the July 3, 2010 edition of NJ Daily.

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