Press Release

Chairman Gordon Announces House Committee on Science and Technology Staff Leadership Change

By SpaceRef Editor
September 23, 2009
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(Washington, DC) -House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) announced that his long-time aid and current Committee Chief of Staff, Chuck Atkins, will be retiring from congressional service at the end of the year. Upon Chuck’s retirement, Louis Finkel, the current Director of Policy and Outreach for the Committee, will assume the role of Chief of Staff.

Chuck has been on the Hill for 17 years, first serving as Chief of Staff for former Rep. Scotty Baesler (D-KY) before joining Chairman Gordon’s personal office in 1998 in the same capacity. In 2005, Chuck became Chief of Staff for the Minority of the Committee; in 2007, when Democrats regained power, Chuck became the Chief of Staff for the Majority. He has held the post of president of the House Administrative Assistants’ Association. Chuck also served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Marine.

“Chuck has been an exceptional staffer and a loyal friend,” said Gordon. “Although all of Chuck’s efforts on my behalf have been outstanding, none has been more so than his work as Chief of Staff on the Science and Technology Committee. This transition was no easy task. Chuck assembled a top-notch staff of professionals to advance the work of the Committee. He also immediately began the process of developing an aggressive agenda that would address issues such as our nation’s competitiveness, energy independence, the challenges of climate change, preparations to allow the integration of new technologies into our society, and measures to better protect the American people.”

With Chuck as Chief of Staff, a signature part of the Committee’s agenda, the America COMPETES Act, was signed into law. The Committee also reported nine separate energy measures that were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. From the 110th Congress through the end of the week of September 21st 2009, the Committee will have held 176 hearings, passed 108 bipartisan bills and resolutions in the House, and had 29 measures signed into law.

“These unprecedented accomplishments happened because of Chuck’s diligent stewardship, political prowess, and unwavering leadership,” said Gordon. “Although I expect Chuck to take some much-deserved time off, I am sure this will not be the end of his engagement with public policy and Congress. It is my hope that Chuck will continue to positively influence policy outcomes for others outside the government with the same success he has had for me over the past 11 years. I am confident that he will be a great asset to whoever is fortunate enough to work with him next.”

Louis Finkel has been serving in his current role as the Director of Policy and Outreach since 2007, where he is tasked with managing the Committee’s agenda, crafting Committee policy initiatives and organizing the Chairman’s efforts to reach a broad spectrum of constituencies interested in the business of the Committee.

Before joining the Committee, Louis spent six years in the private sector representing the interests of educational institutions, non-profits, technology companies and energy interests. More specifically, Louis was a member of the firm Lent Scrivner & Roth, and later worked on behalf of the ExxonMobil Corporation.

He also served in Chairman Gordon’s personal office from 1996 to 2001 in several positions, including Legislative Director. In that capacity he served as the Congressman’s senior policy advisor and managed Chairman Gordon’s legislative operations. In addition, he worked on a diverse policy portfolio that included energy, transportation, education, agriculture, the environment, and consumer protection. Prior to his work for Chairman Gordon, Louis served in a number of positions in the office of former Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-FL).

“Louis will provide a seamless transition to our new staff leadership,” said Gordon. “No one is more prepared than Louis to assume the leadership of the Committee. Members, staff, and the business community all know and respect Louis. I am fortunate to have him ready to manage the affairs of the Committee.”

For more information, please see the Committee’s website.

SpaceRef staff editor.