“Occasionally, the private sector is not aware of some of the gaps, some of the issues in the public sector, and they may have the technology to address these. They may say, ‘Wait a minute—we have this widget that you need.’ ”
DeTrani, 72, is the second elder statesman to join INSA in recent weeks. Last month, John Negroponte, the former director of national intelligence, was named chairman of the board.
One of four children, DeTrani was raised in Greenwich Village, two blocks from New York University, where he received bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees. After his Air Force service, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency. Over the course of his 30-year career there, he directed no fewer than five offices: East Asia Operations; European Operations; Technical Services; Public Affairs; and the Crime and Narcotics Center.
DeTrani then migrated to the State Department, where much of his work centered on the dysfunctional state north of the 38th parallel. A former director of the National Counterproliferation Center, he was most recently a senior adviser to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
At the Bar
In 2008, the Republican staff director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Frank Macchiarola, was on his way down Capitol Hill, headed toward the private sector when Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., lured him back.
“I was really thinking of doing something else,” Macchiarola said. “Maybe law practice or teaching—there were a lot of options.” But Enzi, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, had just lost his staff director and was looking ahead to a year in which health care reform was likely to top the agenda.
So Macchiarola stayed on the Hill as Republican staff director for the committee, and he ended up with an experience in public service he’ll not soon forget. “2009 was probably my busiest year on the Hill,” he says. “We also worked later on implementing the health care law, and did a couple of [Food and Drug Administration] reform bills. Plus we had a lot of issues with the [National Labor Relations Board].”
Now 36, Macchiarola has finally left the Capitol maelstrom behind. Last month, he joined the policy-resolution group at Bracewell & Giuliani, where he will contribute to the firm’s environmental, energy, health care, and education practices.
Born and raised in New York City, where his father was a renowned chancellor of the city’s public schools from 1978 to 1983, Macchiarola graduated from the New York University School of Law and practiced for a time in the city before following his heart to work on public policy in Washington.
Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., then-chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, hired Macchiarola as a committee counsel in 2004, a job that put him in the middle of work on the Energy Policy Act that was signed into law the following year. In 2006, he became Republican staff director, but when Domenici announced plans to leave the Senate in 2008, Macchiarola started thinking about a new career path—until Enzi reached out to ask him for another four years on the Hill.
Macchiarola said he was proud of the bipartisan successes he helped achieve in both Senate committees, but he acknowledged that the partisanship of recent years played a role in his desire for something new. “There is more gridlock than agreement on both sides,” he says.
This article appears in the Feb. 23, 2013, edition of National Journal as People.