Murkowski Welcomes Additions To Energy Committee Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced several additions to the professional staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The new hires include Brian Hughes, Kate Williams, Lucy Murfitt, Tristan Abbey, and Dr. Ron Faibish.

“Kate, Ron, and Lucy will be great additions to the Energy Committee staff,” Murkowski said. “All three are experts in their fields and have decades of experience between them working on energy and lands policy. Tristan, who joined us a few months back, has already become integral to the work of the committee.”

“I am especially happy to welcome Brian back to the committee. Brian is one of those rare staffers who has both a great grasp of public policy and is also a gifted writer,” Murkowski said.

Hughes left the Energy Committee in June to work on the speechwriting team of the Romney-Ryan campaign. He returns to work on alternative fuels, biofuels, and vehicle issues as committee professional staff. Hughes is from Anchorage, Alaska.

Williams is also making her return to the Senate. The former legislative director and chief counsel for Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, will be handling oil and natural gas issues on the committee. After leaving the Senate in 2008, Williams practiced law at the Anchorage firm of Birch, Horton, Bittner, Cherot. Most recently, she has been overseeing state and federal regulation issues for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. Williams is from Juneau, Alaska. 

Dr. Faibish joins the committee as a nuclear fellow from Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Faibish was the program manager for the lab’s Nuclear Engineering Division, where he managed relations with China on nuclear issues, developed a research program on energy-water cogeneration, and led research projects on membrane science and technology for energy efficient separation processes. Dr. Faibish will handle nuclear and science issues for the committee.

Murfitt, who will start with the committee in January, currently handles energy, environment, and natural resources issues for Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona. She has a more than a decade of experience handling western public lands issues and is an outstanding public lands attorney. Murfitt previously served as the director of policy and partnerships for the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. She also served as an environmental attorney during her time in the U.S. Army. Murfitt will handle public lands, forest, wilderness, and Bureau of Land Management issues for the committee.

Abbey joined the committee as a professional staffer responsible for economic analysis in August. Abbey previously worked in finance and is a graduate of Stanford University and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.