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FCW : May 15, 2013
Oversight 20 May 15, 2013 FCW.COM Richard Kessler, Staff Director Kessler knows his way around Capitol Hill, having held several House and Senate committee posts since the 1980s. Most recently, he was the Democrats' staff director on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he reported to former chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.). Kessler's latest position marks a return to the Senate committee, where he previously served as a top aide to former chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) on multiple issues, including government management and the federal workforce. Kessler was instrumental in the bill that created the Department of Homeland Security, and he is also well versed in intelligence and terrorism issues. John Kilvington, Deputy Staff Director Kilvington is a veteran aide to the Senate committee with a longtime connection to Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.). Soon after graduating from the University of Delaware, Kilvington worked on the then-governor's successful 2000 Senate campaign. In the Senate, Kilvington's tasks have taken him from legislative correspondence to subcommittee staff director. His workload has included legislation that deals with cybersecurity and the U.S. Postal Service, and efforts to reduce government waste and fraud. He has spearheaded numerous investigations on a range of issues, including IT management. Beth Grossman, Chief Counsel Grossman has worked for the committee for a decade and has been chief counsel since 2010. Her assignments have included many investigations, including the one into the collapse of Enron, and numerous pieces of legislation, such as intelligence reform and the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act. Earlier, she dealt with false- advertising cases as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission and launched the FTC's program to assist victims of identity theft. ers praised their House counterparts for opening a bicameral discussion on the bill before it was formally introduced. Since Carper took over as chairman of the Senate committee, Republican colleagues have lauded his approach. Coburn called Carper a good friend and praised his focus on long-term issues such as the budget de cit. With Carper as chairman, "we believe we can get there," Issa said to him at a Senate hearing as both welcomed the progress toward consensus on postal legislation after extensive private meetings late last year. A history of bipartisanship There are multiple ways to character- ize the earnest 66-year-old Carper and his growing in uence in the Senate. As far back as the 1980s when he served in the House, he was a moderate Blue Dog who sought bipartisanship. His eight years as Delaware governor left him with a hands-on, results-oriented approach to making government work. He graduated from Ohio State Uni- versity on a Navy ROTC scholarship and served three tours of duty as a tactical coordinator of low- ying aircraft during the Vietnam War. He then received an M.B.A. from the University of Delaware and, at 29, was an unlikely winner in a contest for Delaware s treasurer after having lived in the state for only three years. Since his 2000 election to the Sen- ate --- when he ousted in uential Sen- ate Finance Committee Chairman Bill Roth, who had earlier led the panel Carper now leads --- Carper has kept a low pro le. But at a time when Con- gress is struggling to overcome deep polarization, he has become a diligent workhorse who seeks to build bridges to nearly all players: across the congres- sional aisle, throughout government and in the private sector. "My style is collaborative.... I am into team building," he told FCW in a recent interview in which he described his quick-start leadership of the commit- tee, which has cross-cutting jurisdiction over federal employees and contractors. "If credit doesn t matter, you can get more done." He referenced recent meetings he held with Gen. Keith Alexander, direc- tor of the National Security Agency; other senior lawmakers; and leaders of interest groups seeking enactment of cybersecurity legislation. "I am drinking from a re hose," he said. "These issues are complicated." Because other Senate committees share control of the cybersecurity issue, Carper said he plans to meet with Sen- ate leaders to coordinate team building on the measure. Lawmakers expect to work within the framework of the exec- utive order on cybersecurity that Presi- dent Barack Obama issued in February. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee staff PHOTOS BY ZAID HAMID
April 30, 2013
May 30, 2013