Chairman Cole Announces Rules Committee Staff for 118th Congress

Washington, D.C. – House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) today announced the Committee’s majority staff team for the 118th Congress.

Chairman Cole said, “I am proud to announce the distinguished team for the 118th Congress that will help the Republican Conference execute our Commitment to America. These staffers bring a depth of experience and unmatched skill which will be extremely valuable as we restore regular order to the institution and move the Republican agenda forward.”

Kelly Dixon Chambers – Staff Director: A battle-tested veteran of the Hill, Kelly brings twenty-five years of experience in legislative work, House leadership, and floor operations as she continues her role as Staff Director. An expert in procedure and policy, she has a demonstrated track record of critical policy victories, process management, and coalition building. Her career background includes eight years as a top advisor to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), multiple roles—including Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director—for three Congressional offices, and Clerk for the House Judiciary Committee.

Jennifer Belair – Senior Professional Staff / Staff Director, Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House: Jennifer continues her work for the Committee in an expanded leadership role and brings extensive legislative process and management experience to her work on armed services, financial services, telecommunications, homeland security, and intelligence issues. She previously served as Parliamentarian for the House Committee on Financial Services and worked for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, as well as Legislative Director and Rules Committee Associate for Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and former Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), and as Deputy Parliamentarian for the House Judiciary Committee.

Steve Waskiewicz – Senior Professional Staff / Staff Director, Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process: Steve continues his work for the Committee in an expanded leadership role and brings extensive policy and procedural expertise focused on health care, budget, and tax issues. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the chief legislative liaison between the Committee on Appropriations and the Department and spent several years working on Medicare policy and reform for both the budget and appropriations processes. He also previously worked as the Rules Committee Associate in the personal office of Chairman Cole.
Emily Ackerman – Professional Staff Member: Emily continues her work as Professional Staff, where her legislative portfolio includes energy, judiciary, natural resources, oversight, and technology. She joined the Committee in 2022 after having served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), a senior member of the Committee. She also held multiple roles in former Congressman Lou Barletta’s (R-PA) office.      
Eric Shepard – Professional Staff Member: Eric continues his work as Professional Staff, where his legislative portfolio includes transportation and infrastructure, agriculture, trade, foreign affairs, education, and small business. He previously served as Deputy Clerk and Staff Assistant for the Committee and as a Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Rick Allen (R‑GA).  
Matt Diller – Policy Director: Matt continues his work as Policy Director, where he oversees and supports the implementation of legislative objectives, strategies, and operating plans for the Committee. He previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor and Legislative Counsel, as well as Rules Committee Associate, in Chairman Cole’s personal office and held multiple legislative roles under former Congressman Bob Dold (R-IL).
Alexia Sikora – Communications Director: Alexia joins the Committee to head up its expanded communications team after most recently having served as Communications Director for Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR). She began her Hill career as Press Secretary for Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY).
Susan Phalen – Senior Communications Advisor: Susan joins the Committee after having spent over two decades providing communications counsel to senior U.S. government officials for rapidly unfolding events critical to national security. She previously served as the Communications Director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and then for the House Homeland Security Committee. Her multi-faceted career has included senior communications roles at the State Department, FEMA, and running specialized communications “SWAT” teams at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Grant Lawlor – Digital Director: Grant joins the Committee from Congressman Guy Reschenthaler’s (R-PA) office, where he served as Press Secretary. Prior to that, he served as Staff Assistant.
Hannah Gill – Director of Legislative Operations: Hannah continues her work in a new role overseeing the Committee’s process coordination to ensure all legislative items are ready for consideration. She previously served as Professional Staff, Clerk, and Staff Assistant since beginning her career with the Committee in 2016.
Caroline Donlon – Legislative Clerk: Caroline joins the Committee as Legislative Clerk,  assisting with the production of all legislative documents, tracking legislative items, and maintaining the Committee's website. She previously served as Scheduler for Congressman Jay Obernolte (R-CA) and worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. 
Chris Erb – Director of Operations: Chris continues his work as Director of Operations and has more than 10 years of experience overseeing the operational and administrative needs of the Committee. Chris also previously served on the John McCain presidential campaign. 
Harper Pickering – Staff Assistant: Harper joins the Committee as Staff Assistant after recently graduating from the University of Mississippi and interning for Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS).
Walker Laseter – Special Assistant to the Chairman: Walker joins the Committee as Special Assistant after recently graduating from the University of Mississippi and interning for Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS).



Mar 27, 2023