Yesterday, I wrote that former DNR commissioner Joe Balash had been selected as Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan’s chief of staff and an official announcement would be made this week. Today, a spokesperson for Sullivan confirmed Balash’s position. It was also announced that DeLynn Henry and Mike Anderson would be joining the senator’s staff. Henry will serve as Sullivan’s director of scheduling, a position she held in former Sen. Ted Stevens’ office. Anderson, the Sullivan campaign’s press secretary and former spokesperson for Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, will serve in the same capacity in Sullivan’s office.
While it has not yet been announced, Kathlene Rowell, who worked for Sullivan at DNR and who was the first employee of his campaign, will be joining his staff and will work out of his Anchorage office.
Sullivan and Balash are in D.C. this week and will be interviewing potential staffers with particular emphasis on identifying and hiring a legislative director for his office.
Here’s the release from Sullivan announcing the hires:
Senator-elect Dan Sullivan today announced three key hires for his U.S. Senate office in Washington, DC. Joe Balash will serve as chief of staff, DeLynn Henry as director of scheduling; and Mike Anderson as press secretary.
“I am excited that Joe, DeLynn and Mike will be joining my Washington, DC team,” Sullivan said. “Given their extensive experience and deep understanding of Alaska issues, they are well-positioned to begin serving Alaskans with distinction on day one.”
Joe Balash most recently served as Alaska’s Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), where he was responsible for one of the largest portfolios of oil, gas, minerals, renewable energy, timber, land, and water in the world. A graduate of Pacific University, he previously served as Deputy DNR Commissioner from 2010-2013 during Sullivan’s tenure as Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. Balash has also worked for the Alaska State Legislature, including as chief of staff to the Senate President, and was a key adviser to two governors.
“I look forward to working alongside Joe once again,” said Sullivan. “His wealth of knowledge, and passion for Alaska cannot be understated, and his advice and counsel will be invaluable as we begin to advance Alaska and America’s interests in the U.S. Senate.”
DeLynn Henry joins Senator-elect Sullivan’s office after most recently serving as chief of staff at an international public affairs firm. Henry returns to the Senate with decades of experience. She served as scheduler and assistant to the late Senator Ted Stevens for twenty three years. She has also worked for Northrop Grumman, and been involved with several nonprofits, including the Ted Stevens Foundation.
Mike Anderson, who most recently served as communications director on Sullivan’s Senate campaign, will continue his role as spokesman and principal media contact. A graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Anderson has played similar roles in both houses of Congress. He previously served as press secretary for Congressman Don Young and for Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Additional hires will be announced in the coming weeks. Senator-elect Sullivan will be sworn in to office on January 6, 2015 to begin his six year term.