Murkowski Announces Promotions and Additions to Energy Committee Staff

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced several recent promotions and additions to her Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff.

The promotions are Severin Wiggenhorn to Senior Counsel, Brianne Miller to Senior Professional Staff and Energy Policy Advisor, Annie Hoefler to Professional Staff Member, Melissa Enriquez to Executive Assistant, and Jason Huffnagle to Digital Content Manager.

The new hires are Lane Dickson and Dr. Ben Reinke as Professional Staff Members, Barbara Repeta as a Bevinetto Fellow, Robert Ivanauskas as a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Detailee, Sean Solie as a Staff Assistant, and John Starkey as a non-designated Staff Assistant.

“Severin, Brianne, Annie, Melissa, and Jason are valuable assets to my committee team, and I am excited to continue working with them in their new roles in this new Congress,” Murkowski said. “I am also pleased to welcome Lane, Ben, Barbara, Robert, Sean, and John to the team. Each brings valuable experience and expertise that will help us advance good energy and resource policies for Alaska and the nation.”

Wiggenhorn was promoted from counsel to senior counsel and will focus primarily on oil and natural gas issues. Prior to joining the committee, she worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as an assistant parliamentarian. Upon graduation from Harvard Law School, she was awarded a Heyman Fellowship for academic excellence and her commitment to federal service. Wiggenhorn is originally from Chugiak, Alaska and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Miller was promoted from professional staff member to senior professional staff and energy policy advisor, where she will oversee and lead work related to the Department of Energy. Prior to joining the committee, she worked for Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. She is originally from Tallahassee, Florida and has a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

Hoefler served as a legislative aide, executive assistant, staff assistant, and college intern for the committee before being promoted to professional staff member. She will focus primarily on natural resources and federal lands issues. Hoefler is originally from Anchorage, Alaska and earned her B.A. in geography from Colgate University in 2015.

Enriquez joined the committee in June 2015 as a staff assistant and was recently promoted to executive assistant to the staff director. She is currently attending Florida Atlantic University. Enriquez is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She grew up in a military family and has lived in various locations in the United States and Europe.

Huffnagle was recently promoted to digital content manager for the committee, but has worked for Murkowski since 2011 in a variety of capacities. He previously served as a research assistant and executive assistant at the committee and as a legislative correspondent and staff assistant in her personal office. Huffnagle earned his B.A. in history at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and is originally from Homer, Alaska, where he graduated from Homer Senior High School in 2009.

Dickson joins the committee after serving for nearly a decade in federal affairs at Salt River Project (SRP) and will focus primarily on water, grazing and mining issues. Prior to SRP, Dickson worked at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and for the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power. He also served as the chair of the Government Relations Taskforce for the Large Public Power Council and vice chair of the Federal Affairs Committee for the National Water Resources Association. Dickson is originally from St. Helena, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from George Mason University.   

Dr. Reinke served as an American Nuclear Society Fellow for the committee until he was hired as a professional staff member to focus on nuclear energy issues. Prior to working in the Senate, he was a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow working on a Department of Energy project. Dr. Reinke earned a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 2016, a M.S. in nuclear engineering in 2015, and a B.S. in physics and French in 2010, all from the Ohio State University.

Repeta joins the committee as a Bevinetto Fellow for 2017, as part of a fellowship established in the National Park Service’s Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. She comes to Washington, D.C. from New York, where she was the chief of staff for the National Parks of New York Harbor (NPNH). Prior to her role at NPNH, she worked at Gateway National Recreation Area overseeing a portfolio of concessions, leases, business agreements, and partnerships that provided programming and generated revenue for the park. Repeta was also previously a licensed real estate appraiser and an airline pilot. She is originally from Olney, Maryland.

Ivanauskas joins the committee staff as a detailee from FERC. At FERC, he advises on matters involving the security of energy infrastructure. Previously, he advised FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller on policy issues in the electricity, gas, and oil industries. Prior to his work at FERC, Ivanauskas represented energy industry clients at two law firms in Washington, D.C. He also represented consumer interests at the Citizens Utility Board in Chicago, worked for Peoples Gas Light and as a legal assistant on nuclear matters at a law firm. A Chicago native, Ivanauskas studied law and mathematics at the University of Chicago.

Solie joins the committee after working as an account manager and salesman at Boynton Office Systems. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. Solie has also interned with the Golden Valley Electric Association and the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, and worked as a geo-technician at the Avalon Development Corporation. He is originally from Fairbanks, Alaska and graduated from West Valley High School in 2009.

Starkey joins the committee after working as a national account manager at ViewRidge Funding. He graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. Starkey previously worked for Cornerstone Properties USA and Capital Management Network. He is originally from Anchorage, Alaska and graduated from Grace Christian High School in in 2008.