LOBBYING: Torkelson, Seger join Venn Strategies
Venn Strategies has added a pair of new hires—one from the Obama administration, and one from the House GOP. JoHannah Torkelson, incoming vice president at Venn, served on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. She’s also been an adviser at the Partnership for a Healthier America. She’ll work with the firm’s portfolio of public-health clients. Michelle Seger is also joining Venn as a senior associate, leaving her job as legislative counsel for Rep. Alex Mooney. Seger has worked for several Republican committee chairmen in both the House and Senate.
AGRICULTURE: Fogel to head policy for National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Greg Fogel has been named the policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, a role he will assume in January. He’s been with NSAC since 2012, serving as senior policy specialist and federal budget and appropriations coordinator. He’s also worked with the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the Community Food Security Coalition, the Shanghai Organic Agriculture Company, and the Coalition for a Healthy California.
MEDIA: Stengel nominated to BBG board … if it still exists
President Obama has nominated Richard Stengel, the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department, for a new post. But that position may not exist for very much longer. If the Senate approves, Stengel would take over as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Radio Free Europe and other U.S. government media around the world. But the defense authorization bill, which the Senate may approve this week, contains a provision that would eliminate the board and concentrate its power in a CEO. Stengel was managing editor of Time magazine from 2006 to 2013, and he cowrote Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Reform group promotes Dem veteran
Jody Murphy has been promoted to political director for End Citizens United, a role that will see him running the group’s policy and advocacy departments, while helping the campaigns of ECU’s endorsed candidates. Murphy previously worked as the group’s independent expenditure director. He also held political and expenditure roles during his stint with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
CONGRESS: Nathan Barankin named Sen.-elect Harris’s chief of staff
California’s newest senator, former state attorney general Kamala Harris, has begun staffing up her D.C. office, starting with the appointment of longtime aide Nathan Barankin as chief of staff. The news was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Barankin has served as Harris’s deputy attorney general for the past four years, managing just shy of 5,000 employees. Prior to that, he served as Harris’s chief of staff for two years. Before joining Harris, Barankin served as communications director and judiciary consultant to then-California state Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg.
LOBBYING: DePoy promoted at Bockorny Group
After more than 10 years with the Bockorny Group, Martin DePoy has earned new roles as the firm’s executive vice president and chief of staff. He will be tasked with heading Bockorny’s vision and strategic plan, while also running its day-to-day operations. DePoy has more than 30 years of experience working with trade associations and on Capitol Hill.