Chairman Rogers Announces Staff Changes and Promotions on Committee

Jan 24, 2011
Chairman Rogers Announces Staff Changes and Promotions on Committee

January 24, 2011                                     For Immediate Release
Press Contact:  Susan Phalen                 (202) 225-4121 

 

U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) today announced several staff hires and promotions on the Committee.

"I am pleased to add to the Committee’s very experienced staff by bringing additional professionals with a seasoned mix of Intel and Hill experience," Chairman Rogers said. "The new talent being brought to the Committee will add to the depth and breadth of our staff as the Committee takes the lead in advancing aggressive oversight of the intelligence community," said Rogers.

Darren Dick - Deputy Staff Director

Darren Dick is a veteran of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence where he served as Counsel for the Committee and also as Deputy Staff Director. Mr. Dick will assume the role of Deputy Staff Director at the HPSCI. He comes from the EMC Corporation where he has spent three and a half years as Senior Manager and Counsel for Government Relations and Public Policy. Darren spent three years in the office of U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) as principal advisor to the senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to his work in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Dick served as Legislative Counsel to Congressman Jim Ryun (R-KS). From 1999-2002 he worked as a trial and appellate attorney in Overland Park, KS. From 1992-1996 Darren worked as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Robert Dole (R-KS). He was an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves and holds a Masters Degree in National Security & Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

Susan Phalen - Communications Director

Susan Phalen joins the Committee with vast background in national security issues. She has spent the last decade building and executing strategic communications plans that further the U.S. Government’s national security goals in rapidly unfolding environments. She has led public affairs teams in the development and execution of international strategic communications plans in countries around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Phalen comes to the Committee after serving a year and half heading up communications at the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Prior to her work at SIGAR, she served at the State Department for seven years. For over three of those years, she worked in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs where she was the Senior Advisor for Iraq Communications. In that capacity, Phalen deployed to Baghdad nine times leading rotating teams of public affairs professionals to supplement the U.S. Embassy Baghdad’s public affairs capabilities. She was instrumental in drafting and implementing the State Department’s strategic communications plans for the three national level elections in Iraq in 2005. Previous to her work in Iraq, she served as Public Affairs Advisor to a U.S. Ambassador. Her prior Hill experience includes serving as Press Secretary for then-Congressman Henry Bonilla from Texas, and Deputy Press Secretary for then Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Phalen worked as a radio reporter on the island territory of Guam and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

Bryan Smith - Budget Director

Bryan Smith is a veteran of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) with over 20 years experience in national security budgeting. While at the SSCI, Smith advised the Committee’s Vice-Chair on the intelligence budget. His responsibilities also included acquisition, financial management, nuclear arms control and energy security issues. Previously, he was Acting Associate Director of National Intelligence and Chief Financial Officer of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He also brings to the House Intelligence Committee experience as a CIA Senior Intelligence Officer, serving as the Associate Deputy Director for Resource Oversight and Management at the National Reconnaissance Office. In additional, Smith served in several national security positions at the Office of Management and Budget, including as Acting Deputy Associate Director for National Security. In the late 1980’s Smith was a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and was the staff architect of arms control verification regime for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He was also the Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the INF Treat in Geneva, Switzerland in 1988. Smith was an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force and also served in the Air Force Reserves.

Tom Corcoran - Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Corcoran comes to the HPSCI after 10 years at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as a Professional Staff Member and Senior Policy Advisor. At the SSCI, he advised the Committee’s Vice Chairman on a wide variety of foreign policy, national defense and intelligence oversight and reform issues. He also served as a subject matter expert on detention and interrogation issues, and was a key advisor during legislative debate for the 2004 Intelligence Reform Bill. Prior to his work in the Senate, Tom served as an Intelligence Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency for seven years with service in Korea and Somalia. Tom is also Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer with service in Bosnia, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan.

Chris Donesa - Chief Counsel

Chris Donesa continues to serve in a leadership role at the HPSCI. He assumes the role of Chief Counsel for the Committee. He began work with the HPSCI in September 2004 and served as Deputy Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Chairman Pete Hoekstra in the 109th Congress. He served as a lead staff legislative coordinator for the conference on the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and has also managed legislation to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act, and yearly Intelligence Authorization bills. Prior to returning to the Hill in 2004, Chris served at the Department of Justice as Chief of Congressional and Public Affairs for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Previously, he worked as Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources of the Committee on Government Reform and as Chief of Staff for Congressman Mark Souder. He also has served as a counsel to Chairman Hoekstra on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Education and the Workforce and as a judicial clerk for Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is a graduate of Duke Law School and Georgetown University.

Ashley Lowry - Chief Clerk

Ashley Lowry has served on the Committee for four years. In that time she has served as Deputy Director of Security as well as Research Assistant for the Republican staff. Lowry is assuming the role of Chief Clerk of the Committee. In addition to her clerking duties, she is responsible for administering the Committee’s budget as well as overseeing the Committee’s staff assistants. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Maryland.

Michael Allen - Staff Director

Michael Allen’s appointment as Staff Director to the HPSCI was announced last week.