Washington, DC–United States Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) was elected Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on January 7 by his colleagues on the Committee. The Republican Conference and the full Senate are expected to confirm his election later this week.

Thompson said that he wants the Committee to continue to build on the reform agenda begun in the 104th Congress and he will focus first on the enactment of Regulatory Reform legislation. The Committee also will seek to strengthen its historic role of overseeing the structure and operations of the Executive Branch. It will examine the implementation of recent reforms aimed at strengthening those operations, including the Government Performance and Results Act, the Chief Financial Officers Act and the Information Technology Management Reform Act.

“I intend to work closely with Committee members of both political parties,” Thompson said, “on a number of important bipartisan initiatives. Following on the work of the Committee in the last Congress, we will prioritize the passage of regulatory reform. And we will again take up the creation of a commission to identify and eliminate unjustified subsidies for profit-making entities.

“The Committee in 1997 also will continue to work to make government more accountable and efficient. As government grows smaller it is even more important that it work effectively so that people who depend on it will be better served.”

In addition, the Governmental Affairs Committee will undertake an investigation into alleged improper or illegal activities growing out of the 1996 presidential campaign and related matters.

Members of the committee include Senators William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE); Ted Stevens (R-AK); Susan Collins (R-ME); Sam Brownback (R-KS); Pete Domenici (R-NM); Thad Cochran (R-MS); Don Nickles (R-OK); and Arlen Specter (R-PA).

Democratic Members of the committee include John Glenn (D-OH), Ranking; Carl Levin (D-MI); Joseph Lieberman (D-CT); Daniel Akaka (D-HI); Max Cleland (D-GA); Richard Durbin (D-IL); and Robert Toricelli (D-NJ).

Subcommittee chairs and membership will be announced within a few weeks.

Hannah Sistare was named Staff Director and Counsel by Thompson. She served as Thompson’s Legislative Director during the 104th Congress. She was Chief Minority Counsel and Staff Director to the Governmental Affairs Committee in 1980, and then Chief of Staff to former Senator Charles H. Percy (R-IL). She served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Reagan Administration. Earlier in her career she served as Chief Legislative Assistant to Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R-PA). Ms. Sistare also is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

The committee’s Chief Counsel will be Fred Ansell. Ansell was Chief Counsel to the Judiciary Subcommittee on Youth Violence under Thompson in 1995-96. He first came to the United States Senate in 1991 as Minority Counsel to Senator Charles Grassley on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Administrative Practice.

Senior Counsel to the Committee is Richard A. Hertling. Since 1995 Hertling has been Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information for Senator Arlen Specter, and has been with the Judiciary Committee since 1990.

Paul Noe will be a Counsel on the Committee, and will focus on regulatory reform, administrative law and federalism issues. He has served on the Governmental Affairs Committee staff since 1995.

Ellen B. Brown will be Counsel on the Committee. She served as Procurement Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight since 1993 under former Chairman William F. Clinger, Jr. (R-PA). She will help oversee the implementation of the new procurement and information technology management laws.

William C. Greenwalt will be a Professional Staff Member for the Committee. He has served as Chief Investigator for the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management under former chairman William S. Cohen (R-ME). He will focus on oversight of the Government Performance and Results Act, and the implementation of other financial and management initiatives.

Curtis M. Silvers will become a Professional Staff Member. During the 104th Congress he served as Senator Thompson’s foreign affairs, trade and defense legislative assistant. He has served previously as a staff assistant to the Foreign Relations Committee under Senator Richard Lugar. He will focus on national security and international affairs issues.

Susanne T. Marshall will remain a Professional Staff Member of the committee on which she has served since 1985, and will continue to have a broad range of administrative and issue priorities. Michal Sue (Mickey) Prosser will stay Chief Clerk to the Committee, a position she has held since 1987. Chris Lamond will be head of the committee’s information technology and computer services department. And Paul Clark, previously Communications Director for Senator Thompson, will become the Communications Director for the Committee. He previously served as Communications Director for the Office of Personnel Management (1989-93).