Murkowski Announces New State Director, additional staff hires

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today announced the hire of Karina Waller as her new State Director, who will replace Steve Wackowski at the end of next month as he transitions to the private sector. The Senator also announced some other key additions and promotions in her office.

“Although I’m sad to lose Steve, I’m very pleased that Karina will be joining the team as my new State Director,” Murkowski said. “Steve has been a rock for my office and I wish him and his family the best. He will continue to serve Alaska in the Air Force Reserve as he moves to the private sector, while Karina will provide for a seamless transition. She brings a wealth of state and federal knowledge and connections and will be a valuable asset for my office and Alaskans from day one.”

Karina Michael Waller, a second-generation Alaskan, comes from the Ted Stevens Foundation in Anchorage where she served as the Executive Director. She received her joint Juris Doctor/Master in International Affairs from the Washington College of Law at American University and began her career working as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. in 2002.  And later went on to become his Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff. 

“We also have several great additions and well-deserved promotions to announce. These individuals will fill key roles and work hard on behalf of Alaskans as we advance our state’s interests in the new year,” said Senator Murkowski.

Additional Staff Hires:

Grace Kubitz joins the Washington DC office as a Legislative Assistant for Rural and Community Development. Born and raised in Anchorage, Grace holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Sustainability from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Senator Murkowski’s office, Grace spent several years serving as a staff member in the Alaska State Legislature working closely with lawmakers, stakeholders, and members of the public to advance Alaska-focused policy. Grace continued her career in government, policy, and business development most recently with NANA Regional Corporation as their External Affairs Manager.

Jesse Oney joins Senator Murkowski’s office in Washington D.C. as the Assistant to Chief of Staff and Deputy Scheduler. Jesse began his career six years ago in Senator Murkowski’s D.C. Office as an Intern. He went back to Alaska to serve as a Field Director on Senator Dan Sullivan’s 2020 reelection campaign and returned to Capitol Hill to work as Senator Sullivan’s Staff Assistant. In 2022, Jesse again moved back to Alaska to work as the Director of Grassroots on Senator Murkowski’s campaign.  He returned to D.C. in January, 2023, where he worked as a Legislative Correspondent on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs where Senator Murkowski serves as Vice Chairman.

Julia Colver joins Senator Murkowski’s D.C. office as a new Staff Assistant. Julia is from Palmer, Alaska, and has a BA in International Studies and an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She has also studied Russian language at Turan University in Kazakhstan. Previously she worked as a fundraising intern for Papillon Academy, an international NGO based in Paris seeking to increase female access to civics education. Additionally, she briefly worked for Senator Murkowski’s office as an intern, assisting with Defense and Foreign Affairs policy.

Staff Promotions:

Matthew Jones has been promoted to Legislative Correspondent after previously working as a Staff Assistant. He previously worked on Senator Murkowski’s 2022 reelection campaign. He attended Marquette University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Matt was born and raised in Eagle River.

Noah Nosek is being promoted to Legislative Correspondent after joining Senator Murkowski’s D.C. office as a Staff Assistant in July. Noah is from Anchorage and recently graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. During his time at university Noah worked for the Forest Service as a biological technician focusing on invasive species mitigation.