December 08, 2016

Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth Announces Senior Staff Appointments


HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL- Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced she will appointment several senior staff members in her new U.S. Senate office next year. Her leadership team will retain the entire senior staff from her Eighth District Congressional Office. Duckworth will be sworn in as Illinois' junior U.S. Senator on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017.

"I'm so pleased to have Kaitlin, Kalina, Cameron and the rest of my incredibly strong leadership team joining me as senior advisors in the Senate next year," said Senator-elect Duckworth. "Their experience and talent will help them hit the ground running in their roles and go a long way toward ensuring that my work to help Illinois families, grow small businesses and support our Veterans is successful."

The following Senate office senior staff members were announced today:

  • Kaitlin Fahey, Chief of Staff - An Elmhurst native, Fahey has served Senator-elect Duckworth since 2006 in several roles, including as Chief of Staff in her House office, as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and--most recently--as Campaign Manager of Duckworth's successful Senate race.
  • Kalina Bakalov, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director - Bakalov currently serves as the Congresswoman's House Chief of Staff. She has more than 7 years of experience on Capitol Hill, including as Legislative Director in Senator-elect Duckworth's House office, which she joined in 2013.
  • Cameron Joost, State Director - A Springfield resident, Joost joined Senator-elect Duckworth's campaign as Political Director this year. She served as Downstate Political Director on U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's (D-IL) successful 2014 re-election campaign and in his Springfield Senate office for more than 4 years. She also spent nearly 3 years on staff at the Illinois State Senate Democratic Caucus in Springfield.
  • Marina Faz-Huppert, Chicago Director - Faz-Huppert joined Senator-elect Duckworth's Congressional staff as District Director in 2015 from United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union's Local 881 in Rosemont, where she worked for nearly a decade and served as Legislative & Political Director.
  • Ben Rhodeside, Policy Director - An alumnus of AmeriCorps' City Year Chicago, Rhodeside joined Senator-elect Duckworth's Congressional staff as Legislative Director in 2015 after serving as Senior Policy Advisor on oversight and government reform issues for Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11) for three years. Rhodeside also served as a Professional Staff Member for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, joining that office in 2008.
  • Ben Gash Garmisa, Communications Director - A Highland Park native, Garmisa joined Senator-elect Duckworth's Congressional staff as Communications Director in 2015 after serving as Press Secretary and in several other roles during his more than 6 years in U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's (D-IL) office.
  • Kelsey Druckman Becker, Scheduling Director - A Schaumburg native and Peace Corps alumnus, Becker joined Senator-elect Duckworth's team in 2012 after internships in the offices of both U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Melissa Bean (IL-08). She currently serves as the Congresswoman's Scheduling and Operations Director.
  • Paul Kohnstamm, Administrative Director - Kohnstamm joined Senator-elect Duckworth's team in 2011 and has served in various roles over the last 5 years, including Campaign Manager for her successful 2014 Congressional re-election campaign. He most recently served as Operations Director of Duckworth's successful Senate race.