Rubio makes first wave of Senate hires
U.S. Sen.-elect Marco Rubio announced moments ago his first wave of staff hires, including Sally Canfield as chief policy advisor and legislative director and Leonard Collins as general counsel.
Rubio is to be sworn in at noon tomorrow and has asked Florida's Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson to escort him onto the Senate floor.
Canfield recently worked for pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-aventis U.S. and before that in the health division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and was an advisor to Mitt Romney. Collins worked with Rubio in the Florida House as parliamentarian.
Others well-known in Florida's political and media circles: Alex Burgos, Joe Pounder and Todd Reid. The names were selected from among 1,000 applicants for 53 positions in Washington and Florida.
“Florida will be well-served by the team we are putting together," Rubio said in a statement. "Together, they will assist me in the U.S. Senate as we work to jump-start the economy, tackle the debt, repeal and replace ObamaCare, and defend America at home and abroad."
Rubio also announced the initial opening of five regional offices in Pensacola, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and Miami, which will be staffed by 17 workers on the first day of his term. This regional operation will serve as the center of constituent casework, with an expected workload of over 5,000 cases to be handled this coming year.
“I am especially pleased that we have met our top priorities of the transition, which were not only to begin putting together a top-notch team, but also to have our Florida offices operational to ensure a seamless handover of constituent casework,” added Rubio. “On day one, our offices are ready to serve all Floridians.”
BACKGROUND ON TODAY’S STAFF HIRE ANNOUNCEMENTS (as provided by Rubio's office)
Sally Canfield – Chief Policy Advisor & Legislative Director: Canfield previously served as senior director for policy at Sanofi-Aventis US. Prior to that, she served as a senior program officer in the Global Health Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, providing strategic policy, advocacy, and communications counsel and managing a multi-million dollar grants portfolio. She has also held various senior positions in the federal government, including deputy chief of staff for policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, counselor to the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, and senior policy advisor to the Speaker of the House, in addition to working for Congressman Jim McCrery and Congressman Mac Thornberry. In the 2000 campaign, she served as domestic policy advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush and in the 2008 campaign cycle, she served as policy director to Governor Mitt Romney. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Leonard Collins – General Counsel: Collins previously served as a senior attorney in the Florida Department of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Parliamentarian of the Florida House of Representatives. In this position, he assisted the presiding officer and members of the House with the application of the state constitution, the rules of the House, and parliamentary authority to legislative proceedings. Prior to his House service, he worked as an attorney in private practice, and as an assistant state attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami. Raised in Miami, Collins earned his Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in political science and international relations from Florida International University.
Todd Reid – State Director: Reid previously served as deputy chief of staff to Florida House of Representatives Speaker Dean Cannon. Prior to that, for four years, he was director of the Florida House Majority Office where he managed floor activities and coordinated communications on behalf of the Florida House's Republican majority. He has also served as communications director for the Florida House and with the Florida Department of Financial Services. Reid has also worked for the Office of the Governor of Virginia, the Republican Party of Virginia and as a regional director for the Republican National Committee. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Hampden-Sydney College.
Joe Pounder – Communications Director: Pounder previously worked on Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate, where he served as deputy campaign manager for communications. Prior to that in 2009, he worked on Capitol Hill as strategic communications director for U.S. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and as deputy communications director for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s (R-TX) gubernatorial campaign. He also served as director of rapid response for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, director of rapid response for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and deputy director of research for the California Republican Party in 2006. He began his career on the White House staff of President George W. Bush where he worked in both Communications and Presidential Personnel.
Alex Burgos – Director of Media Affairs: Burgos previously served as communications director on Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate. Prior to that, he was the senior communications manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, director of specialty media on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, and deputy press secretary at the National Republican Congressional Committee. A Miami native, Burgos is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned a Master of Arts in international business and a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Bexie Nobles – Director of Scheduling & Executive Assistant: Nobles previously served in the Washington office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), as well as Director of Operations for her 2010 primary campaign for governor. Prior to these roles, she worked on Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign.
Theresa Young – Administrative Director: Ms. Young will continue in this role, which she served in under former U.S. Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and George LeMieux (R-FL). Prior to this, she served in the office of the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms.
Luke Marchant – Special Assistant: Marchant served as political director on Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate. Prior to that, he served as communications director for Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) and campaign manager for Olson’s congressional campaign. Marchant has served on the staffs of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples (R-TX).