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Government and People
D.C. Council Chairman-Elect Kwame R. Brown Introduces Transition Team Members
Today, Council Chairman-Elect Kwame R. Brown formally launched his transition process today by introducing members of his transition team during a morning press conference held at the John A. Wilson Building.
"The transition team will help ensure that the Council can best address the profound fiscal challenges before us as well as expand opportunities for employment and quality education for all District residents," said Chairman-Elect Brown, who will be sworn in as the seventh Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia on Sunday, January 2nd, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. "I'm confident that the Transition Team will provide me with a comprehensive analysis of current practices and make concrete recommendations to improve Council operations."
The Transition Team members, led by Chairperson Gregory M. McCarthy, will undertake a thorough review of the legislative branch's overall operations and provide the Chairman-Elect with an evaluation of current practices, as well as recommendations for improvements, efficiencies, and possible realignment.
Mr. McCarthy previously served as director of policy and evaluation and deputy chief of staff under former Mayor Anthony Williams from 1999-2006. He is currently the vice president for government and municipal affairs for the Washington Nationals Baseball Club.
"I'm extremely grateful to Gregory for his willingness to serve me and the District in this transition. I can't think of anyone better equipped to do the job," said Chairman-Elect Brown.
In addition to McCarthy, Chairman-Elect Brown has assembled a dynamic group of individuals, who have agreed to serve the District of Columbia on a volunteer basis, to lead specific transition efforts. Team members include, in alphabetical order (Downlaod Bios here):
Irma Esparza Diggs, chief of staff to Chairman-Elect Brown, will lead the effort to assess and staff his immediate office and that of the Committee of the Whole. Prior to her service in DC government, Ms. Diggs served with Councilmember Brown in President Clinton's Department of Commerce. She has also managed political campaigns in several states and organized successful advocacy campaigns on progressive issues.
Jeffrey Humber will lead a review of the city's fiscal situation as well as the functions of the Council's Budget Office. Mr. Humber was previously chairman of the board for the Washington Convention Center Authority and served at Merrill Lynch. Chairman-Elect Brown has asked him to evaluate the feasibility of creating a Budget Advisory Council, much like the Advisory Council that assists the current Office of Policy Analysis. Mr. Humber will look at the best practices in municipal budget practices concerning both revenue and expenditures.
Natalie Ludaway, a partner with Leftwich & Ludaway, a law firm specializing in labor and employment matters, will lead an assessment of the Office of the General Counsel. Ms. Ludaway is the vice chair of CareFirst and a member of the Judicial Nominations Commission of the District of Columbia.
Neil Rodgers, who currently directs the office of the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, will lead an assessment of the Council's administrative functions, largely overseen by the Office of the Secretary. Neil previously served as chief of staff of the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
Walter Smith, executive director of DC Appleseed, has agreed to lead a review of the operations of the Office of the DC Auditor. His team will examine similar offices across the country and assess the possible refinements of the office's mission and performance. Mr. Smith has participated in dozens of external reviews of District government functions. Michael Warren will lead the transition's public engagement effort, looking at new ways to increase public participation in the Council's work through social media and interactive technologies. He will assess the Offices of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and Youth Services in order to seek better input from citizens where they work and live. Mr. Warren is a principal and managing board member of the Albright Stonebridge Group and was a member of the Obama-Biden transition. He serves on the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Retirement Board.
Rod Woodson, a partner at Holland & Knight, will lead an analysis and evaluate possible changes in the Council's legislative procedures and rules. He has decades of expertise in DC administrative and legislative practices. Mr. Woodson's practice spans the areas of administrative, regulatory, and legislative issues with a focus on D.C. municipal law.
The transition team is exploring possibilities with members of Georgetown University faculty about providing technical and analytical assistance to the various task forces. In addition, Chairman-Elect Brown has directed all the task forces to engage experts at the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, the National League of Cities, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and DC Appleseed for information on best practices and existing resources.
"As Chairman of the Council, I want to ensure that our agenda is clearly focused in four key areas--fiscal responsibility, job creation, education reform, and governmental accountability," said Chairman-Elect Brown. "The Transition Team will help me identify ways to improve the operation of the Council and advance core agenda items. We need to engage the public in the decision-making process of the District government so they share a vision of a city where people want to live, find jobs or open businesses, and raise their children."
Chairman-Elect Brown also announced the launch of his transition team's website, www.dccouncilchair.com. This site will provide information to the public about the transition's activities and how to participate on the team.
For more information or for transition inquiries, please contact Kelly Swanson at 202-783-5500 or email@example.com.
Chairman-Elect Kwame R. Brown Transition Team Leadership Biographies
Irma Esparza Diggs currently serves as Chairman-Elect Brown's chief of staff. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Chairman-Elect's At-Large office, she works closely with him and his staff members to develop his legislative initiatives and policies. A graduate of Catholic University of America and American University where she obtained a Masters in Public Administration, Ms. Diggs has organized political campaigns in New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona. Additionally, she was recognized for successfully launching an issue advocacy organization on behalf of the American Federation of State, and County Municipal Employees (AFSCME) that mobilized voters during the 2006 midterm elections and was established as a model for some congressional districts. She is a board member of Jumpstart Read for Record and the Planned Parenthood Political Action Fund.
Jeffrey L. Humber Jr. most recently served as president and chief executive officer for Delon Hampton & Associates. Previously, he served as senior vice president, Head of Global Diversity, for Merrill Lynch where he was responsible for advising executive management on issues and strategies for ensuring that global policies and practices provided a supportive and inclusive work environment. In 2004, Mr. Humber was appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams as Chairman of the Board for the Washington Convention Center Authority and served on the Development, Finance, and Operation Committees. Additionally, Mr. Humber has done substantial work with the government of the District of Columbia where he has previously developed the District's revenue budget on all tax and non-tax revenue, and was responsible for ensuring coordination among District departments and agencies. A business school graduate of Harvard University and recipient of a Juris Doctorate from University of Virginia School of Law, Mr. Humber currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Gallaudet University, as a Board Member of the Bert King Foundation for Harvard Business School, and as a board member of the University of Virginia School of Law Business Advisory Council.
Natalie O. Ludaway is the managing member of Leftwich & Ludaway LLC., one of the oldest continuously operating, minority and woman owned law firms in Washington, D.C. The law firm represents a wide array of clients in complex, time-sensitive, and high profile matters. Ms. Ludway's legal practice is highly regarded for litigation matters, with an emphasis in the areas of commercial litigation, employment law, and District of Columbia regulatory matters. Her clients run the gamut from Fortune 50 corporations, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, to small businesses and individuals. Ms. Ludaway received her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University National Law Center and is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York with Masters and Bachelors of Arts degrees in Economics. Ms. Ludaway is a member of the Judicial Nominations Commission of the District of Columbia, former chair of the DC Chamber of Commerce, and vice chair of CareFirst.
Gregory M. McCarthy is vice president for government and municipal affairs of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club. He works with the District government and civic organizations to ensure that Nationals Park is an overall asset for residents, workers, and visitors of the District of Columbia. Previously, Mr. McCarthy was director of policy and evaluation and deputy chief of staff in the Executive Office of the Mayor in Washington, D.C. and acted as Mayor Anthony Williams' primary liaison to the Council of the District of Columbia, U.S. Congress, Office of Management and Budget, and the White House. He led efforts to develop and execute Williams' legislative, budget, and federal agendas. Earlier in his career, he was director of communications at the National Academy of Public Administration which assists with federal, state, and local governments in improving their performance. A graduate of Georgetown University, Mr. McCarthy is a vice chair and officer of the board of directors of Destination DC, and is a director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. Until recently, he was board chair of DC Action for Children and a board member of the Latin American Youth Center.
Neil Rodgers currently directs the office of the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, He previously served as chief of staff of the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
Walter Smith serves as the executive director of DC Appleseed, a nonprofit public interest organization addressing issues facing the National Capital area. Under his leadership, DC Appleseed has issued numerous highly acclaimed and regarded reports on public policy issues. He was a partner for 16 years at Hogan & Hartson; the last four of which he acted as the full time director of the firm's nationally recognized pro bono department. He left Hogan & Hartson to become the special deputy corporation counsel of the District of Columbia where he supervised litigation affecting the school system, established pro bono assistance with area private firms, and brought suit before a three-judge federal court seeking voting representation for the District in Congress. Spending four years in Navy JAG handling courts-martial trials and appeals, Mr. Smith received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard University and a Masters of Law from George Washington University. He was recently named by The Legal Times as one of the "90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years."
Michael J. Warren is a principal and managing board member of Albright Stonebridge Group, a member of the Investment Committee of Albright Capital Management, and a recently sworn member of Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Warren led corporate development at Horne Engineering Services, and served as president of Appfluent Technologies. Additionally, Mr. Warren served as a senior advisor for the White House Office of Presidential Personnel for the Obama Administration and was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Project's Agency Review Working Group on international trade and economics agencies. A Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Warren earned degrees from Yale University and Oxford University. He is on the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Retirement Board, Civitas Group, Virginia Tech's Intellectual Property Board, Catalist, and the National Child Research Center. He is a member of the Yale University President's Council on International Activities.
Roderic L. Woodson is currently a partner at Holland & Knight LLP where he engages an administrative, regulatory, and legislative practice with a focus upon D.C. municipal law issues. He has assisted in drafting legislative and regulatory initiatives for the District of Columbia in matters such as construction labor, taxation, health care, securities, insurance, alcoholic beverage control, and administrative law. A graduate of Penn State University and the Howard University School of Law, Mr. Woodson has served as a member of the corporation finance staff of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, electric utility counsel to the District's consumer advocate, legal adviser to the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, and was the first general counsel of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency. With the highest attorney rating from Martindale-Hubble, Mr. Woodson has been named by his peers to the "Best Lawyers in America" listing for municipal law since 2007.
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