Murkowski Announces New Additions to Committee Staff

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced three recent additions to her Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff: Suzanne Cunningham as senior policy advisor for oil and gas, Diana Nielsen as a legal fellow, and Tonya Parish as press assistant.

“I’m pleased to welcome Suzanne, Diana, and Tonya to our team,” Murkowski said. “Suzanne brings significant experience from her work in the Alaska State Legislature, Diana has considerable knowledge of energy and resource policy, and Tonya will be key to our efforts to communicate our work. I look forward to their contributions as we continue to advance good policies that will promote economic growth and provide benefits to Alaska and the nation.”

Cunningham joins the committee after serving for the past five years in the Alaska Senate as chief-of-staff for State Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, and as a senior advisor for the Alaska Senate Rules Committee. She will focus primarily on oil and natural gas issues for the committee. Prior to her roles in the State Senate, Cunningham worked as the president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Alaska and in marketing for the Port of Anchorage. She also served as a legislative aide in the Alaska State House of Representatives. Cunningham is originally from Anchorage, Alaska, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.    

Nielsen joins the committee as a legal fellow, as part of a fellowship established through Columbia University School of Law’s Social Justice Initiative. She comes to Washington, D.C. from New York, where she recently finished her Juris Doctor in Law at Columbia University School of Law and a Master of International Affairs with a concentration in energy and resource management at Columbia University School of International Public Affairs. Prior to that she worked at ACO Investment Group as an investment analyst and previously worked for several years overseas in a variety of roles with the United Nations, Deloitte Consulting, and the Burmese Environmental Working Group. Nielsen is originally from Granite Bay, Calif., and also has a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University.

Parish joins the committee after working as a researcher and administrative aide at David Parish and Associates, LLC, based in Juneau, Alaska. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a minor in psychology. Parish was also the founder and event coordinator for the Erik Peterson Memorial Run, served as a legislative aide for the Office of Alaska State Senate Finance Co-Chair Anna MacKinnon, and interned at Early Warning Labs, LLC, the Resource Development Council, and the Office of Alaska State Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage. She is originally from Anchorage, Alaska, and graduated with honors from Dimond High School in 2011.