Murkowski Announces Departure of Chief Counsel, Staff Promotions

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced the departure of her chief counsel, Patrick McCormick, who has left the Energy and Natural Resources Committee for an opportunity in the private sector.

“Pat is truly one of a kind: an incredible lawyer with a servant’s heart, a tireless work ethic, and impeccable character,” Murkowski said. “Every one of us will miss him greatly, but we are grateful for his indispensable guidance and the many achievements he enabled as part of our committee. We wish him and his family all the best as he embarks on his new venture.”

McCormick joined the committee in 2011, serving as special counsel before being promoted to chief counsel in January 2013. Prior to joining the committee, he spent 20 years in the private sector as a partner at Hunton and Williams, office managing partner at Balch and Bingham, and government affairs counsel at the Potomac Electric Power Company.

Murkowski also announced today that Kellie Donnelly, who currently serves as the committee’s deputy chief counsel, will succeed McCormick as chief counsel. Lucy Murfitt will be promoted to deputy chief counsel, and Isaac Edwards will be promoted to special counsel.

“Kellie is brilliant, strategic, and has extensive knowledge of the full range of issues that come before our committee,” Murkowski said. “Lucy and Isaac are also tremendous lawyers with years of policymaking experience. I’m excited for all three of them to move up, and recognize that even though we are losing Pat, we are fortunate to have a very strong counsel function on the committee.”

Donnelly came to Capitol Hill in 1994 and shortly thereafter joined the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works as majority counsel. She left to serve as counsel at the Department of the Interior and then spent several years in the private sector before joining the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in 2003. She has since served the committee in a number of roles, most recently as deputy chief counsel since 2009.

Murfitt is currently senior counsel and public lands and natural resources policy director for the committee. She previously spent eight years as senior counsel to U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and the Republican Whip, handling the energy, environment, and natural resources portfolio. She has also worked at the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University as its director of policy and partnerships. A veteran, Murfitt served as an environmental attorney during her time in the U.S. Army.  

Edwards, who was born and raised in Homer, Alaska, began his career on Capitol Hill working for former Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, in 1997. He became Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s legislative director in 2003, and moved to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to serve as counsel in 2009. Prior to today’s promotion, he held the title of senior counsel, focusing primarily on Arctic, territorial, and international energy issues.

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