Since January, numerous Heritage staff and alumni have gone on to serve in the Trump Administration or are awaiting nomination. Below is an updated list of 52 Heritage staff who have assumed or are in the nomination process for positions in the Administration, including nearly ten advisors, four center directors, two general counsel, one chiefs of staff, four deputy directors, one director, and one secretary. This does not include the numerous individuals who served as part of the transition efforts.

We congratulate our former coworkers on these positions and are excited to see the work they do as they apply their expertise to tackling today’s critical issues.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Nina Owcharenko, is now a senior advisor within the Department of Health and Human Services. She formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow. Owcharenko is well known as a champion of patient choice and robust competition in America’s health insurance markets. For years, she has advanced free-market, patient-centered solutions that fix the real problems in America’s healthcare system.
  • Roger Severino, is the new director of the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. He formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. Prior to his time at Heritage, Severino was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He previously worked as the Chief Operations Officer and Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
  • Laura Trueman, Special Assistant
  • Matt Grinney, Speechwriter
  • Steve Wagner, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families

Department of the Interior

  • Ryan Nichols, is now serving as an advisor in the Office of Water and Science within the Department of Interior. He formerly served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. Over the past five years, Nichols has helped strengthen and align key players in the conservative movement by serving as a liaison to non-partisan conservative organizations.
  • Lori Mashburn, serves as the White House liaison to the Department of the Interior. Formerly she served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. As a key member of Heritage’s coalition relations team, Lori worked with conservative state allies to advance shared policy priorities.
  • Elinor Werner, serves as the Executive Assistant to Secretary of the Interior. She formerly served as Heritage’s Assistant Director of the Young Leaders Program.

Department of Defense

  • Charles “Cully” Stimson, has been nominated to serve as General Counsel of the Department of the U.S. Navy. He manages Heritage’s National Security Law Program, is a Senior Legal Fellow in Heritage’s Center for National Defense and is Chief of Staff for Dr. Ed Feulner. Stimson is a widely recognized expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, drug policy & immigration.
  • Justin Johnson, is serving at the Pentagon and conducts research on related defense budgeting matters. He formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting policy. While at Heritage, Johnson conducted important research on how to achieve a fully-equipped, combat-ready military, as outlined in his recent Heritage report “Congress Should Enact a Strong Defense Budget in FY 2017.”
  • Brian Slattery, currently serves as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe/NATO. He formerly served as a policy analyst in Heritage’s Center for National Defense. At Heritage, Slattery advocated for a strong national defense and robust security enterprise, focusing particularly on maritime security, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Arctic.
  • Mark Esper, nominated to be Secretary of the Army. He formerly served as Chief of Staff for Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in DOD: Rebecca Buchheit, Beachhead/White House Liaison

Office of Management and the Budget

  • Russ Vought, has been nominated to serve as Deputy Director of the Office of the Management and Budget. Russ formerly served as Heritage Action’s vice president of grassroots outreach.
  • Lisa Curtis, now leads the Trump National Security Council’s work on South and Central Asia. A former CIA analyst and senior advisor in the Bush White House, Lisa formerly served as a Research Fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center. At Heritage, Curtis analyzed America’s economic, security and political relationships with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other nations of South Asia as a senior research fellow.
  • Jessica Anderson, has joined the Office of Management and Budget to help restore fiscal responsibility. She formerly served as the grassroots director for Heritage Action for America.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in OMB: John Gray, advisor; Brad Bishop, Confidential Assistant to the Associate Director; Amanda Robbins, Confidential Assistant.

Other White House Positions

  • Paul Winfree, serves as deputy assistant to the president, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and director of budget policy. He formerly served as director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Winfree, well-known in Washington for his tough stance on fiscal responsibility, took a leading role in drafting Heritage’s budget plan, and Politico named him “one of the most important people in the Administration to watch.” Roll Call highlighted Winfree in a list of rising stars in the Administration.
  • Hans von Spakovsky, has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on voter fraud. The appointment of von Spakovsky is a testament to the extensive work he has done throughout his career, specializing in voting and election issues including campaign finance reform, voter fraud, and election administration.  A former Commissioner at the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice official, von Spakovsky currently runs the Election Law Reform Initiative at Heritage.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in other White House positions: Rick Dearborn, Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Cabinet Affairs; Matt Flynn, Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, Executive Office of the President; Duncan Braid, Vetting; Lara Barger, Digital Media; Brian Blasé, Special Assistant to the President for Health Care Policy; Sean Doocey, Deputy Director, Presidential Personnel; Emily Lataif, Executive Assistant to the Staff Secretary and Ann Conant. James Sherk, White House Domestic Policy Council.

Department of State

  • Brittany Balmer,  works in the State Department as Protocol Officer for Diplomatic Visits and Ceremonies. She formerly served as Heritage’s Senior Event Producer. Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: William Wolfe, Congressional Advisor/Legislative Affairs; Ory Rinat, Beachhead team; Mary Monica Allen, Executive Assistant

Department of Homeland Security

  • John Mitnickhas been nominated to serve as to general counsel in the Department of Homeland Security. He currently serves as Heritage’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, general counsel’s office. At Heritage, Mitnick advises on and oversees all legal, regulatory, and compliance matters . His experience prior to Heritage includes serving as an Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House, Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council, and Associate General Counsel for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Diem (Nguyen) Salmon, currently serves as Chief of Staff in the DHS and formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting.

Department of Transportation

  • Elaine Chao, serves as the United States Secretary of Transportation. She formerly served as a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Chao also previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009. Secretary Chao’s distinguished career spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has served as President and CEO of United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator, a White House Fellow, Vice President of Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group, and a banker with Citicorp in New York.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: Owen Morgan, Special Assistant.

National Institute of Justice

  • David Muhlhausen, has been appointed Director of the NIJ.  He formerly served as Heritage’s research fellow in empirical policy analysis. Muhlhausen is a leading expert on evaluating the effectiveness of federal social programs, and a veteran analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Muhlhausen joined Heritage in 1999 after serving on the staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he specialized in crime and juvenile justice policies. He previously was a manager at a juvenile correctional facility in Baltimore.

Environmental Protection Agency

  • David Kreutzer, worked on a beachhead team within the EPA (during which time he helped undo Obama-era climate initiatives). He formerly served at Heritage as a senior research fellow on energy economics and climate change and has returned to Heritage where he continues to research and write about labor markets and trade.

Department of Labor

  • James Sherk, has taken on an influential role on a beachhead team within the Department of Labor. James formerly served as a Heritage research fellow in labor economics. Sherk’s research has helped equip right-to-work states with the ammo they need to resist union coercion and bad labor policy.

Department of Transportation:

  • Nick Yonkovich, Special Assistant to the CFO.
  • Tina Henry, Special Assistant for Scheduling
  • Andrew Fink, Special Assistant for Advance

Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • William Gribbin, speech writer for HUD Secretary Ben Carson
  • Anne Gribbin, Special Assistant
  • Benjamin Hobbs, Special Policy Advisor, Office of Public and Indian Housing

Office of the Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Jeet Gurram, Senior Advisor
  • Randy Pate, Deputy Administrator

Office of Personnel Management

  • Mike Rigas, nominated to be Deputy Director

Department of Education

  • Gerren McHam, Government Affairs
  • Jessica Newman, Office of the Secretary as Director of Scheduling

Small Business Administration: Maryann Bradfield, Chief of Staff

National Economic Council: Maggie Delahoyde, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Anthony Campau

What is the most important policy these conservative leaders can advance while serving in the administration?

Comments (66)

Mary Laforet - August 11, 2017

I’M delighted to read of this!! Congrats!

Arthur Shay - August 11, 2017

I trust this influx of Heritage personnel will assist President Trump in achieving his goals. Kudos to Heritage and the leadership it has trained.

Burma Mealor - August 11, 2017

Get Gov’t. out of healthcare and give the free market back to We the People. So glad good people from Heritage are in My President Trumps camp!

ANDREE NIPPE - August 11, 2017

Why don’t I see Mr. Jim DeMint’s name in your list? I really like him & in fact, Heritage has not been the same since he left. I do hope he is involved politically as he had so much to offer.

Rita Misero - August 11, 2017

I have worried since Jim DeMint left Heritage. I am glad so many Heritage people are helping,but I also worry that Heritage and those working in administration might start “drinking the koolaid”.

Enoch B. Thweatt, Jr. - August 11, 2017

Very impressive list! I am glad to see that women of talent have been appointed to very responsible positions. To have so many talented staff move into the new administration in such a short time leaves a lot of plaaces t be filled, but I am confident that you know how to find conservative talent in our great country!

Carl /Mary Miller - August 11, 2017

Any thing Constitutional and toward individual rights & responsibilities. We are getting tired of picking up so many other peoples bills as responsible taxpayers; & overloaded taxpayers as well.
Heritage is a great organization. Thanks you all

Virginia Mudd - August 11, 2017

I am amazed at the influence that
Heritage has in the present government
and the levels that some of those
positions hold. Heritage is influencing
our country with conservative thought.

Bonnie Smith - August 11, 2017

Wow …..Thanking God for all
these willing hands and spirits .
Bonnie at Coast

Cheryl Grosser - August 11, 2017

I’m proud of Heritage and the valuable education and the accomplished attendees to be placed in American government. I have faith there will be more accomplished in the future. Keep up the good work.

Martin Markiewicz - August 11, 2017

What an outstanding list of fine young Americans. I’m not sure of a specific policy, but in general I hope they always fight to honor and follow the constitution, make sure our laws are obeyed and push for free market solutions and individual freedoms.

Pamela S Lee - August 11, 2017

I am glad to see so many young people ready, willing, and able to step up and work within the new administration. President Trump has a hard row to hoe just like all newly elected presidents do. One of the most important policies these leaders can advocate for is to keep America adhering to the US Constitution.

Ken Struttmann - August 11, 2017

To downsize the “bloated” Federal Government.I would love to know on a continuing basis what the total Fed employee count is. Pres Trump must “drain the swamp” soon! Then, Congress goes on a month’s vacation. No wonder, their approval rating is under 20%.

Sarah - August 11, 2017

We exist because committed men fought for the right to worship God without fear. If America does not return to our founding principles, we won’t make it another generation. The Millinnials will likely sink us, and families aren’t teaching their children Christian truths so the chances are that we’ll become a ‘has-been’ power very soon.

+Jeanne Regn - August 11, 2017

I am thrilled to see so many Heritage people who will b working w/our new President n hoping that they will always stand up for truth no matter the consequences, thank you to all, I will keep you in my daily prayers.

Georgia - August 11, 2017

Right now it would be the right to pick the insurance I want and what I will give my employees. As a business owner and having this awful insurance from BCBS myself, I am over whelmed by the denial, the paperwork and all the “right” insurance coverage we our mandate to have. Then come the end of a fiscal year I have to report it like I am some kind of criminal. I hate it

Trudy Slater, PhD - August 11, 2017

This list is a worthy start! Very heartening! You all must be proud of the contribution of your members at this juncture. We require many more to dilute to Obama holdovers still taking up space and leaking their dissatisfactions disrupting our Presidents forward motion.

Georgia - August 11, 2017

I am hapy to hear the list of interns going to work in the swamp. However, how will you help them to keep a sense of balance and not fall in to the madness from the left? I hope you have monthly meetings!!

Robert Schmidt - August 11, 2017

the best of America and Growing
Greatest Nation on Earth is making the greatest comeback Ever!!!
Thank God for Trump who awakened every American heart and soul to reclaim what the Enemy tried to destroy from within.
God Bless America

Sue Sherrill - August 11, 2017

I too, am impressed and encouraged by the number of Heritage folks who are going to be strengthening conservative values in the Trump Administration. I am sorry that I don’t see Jim DeMint’s name among them. His leadership seemed to serve Heritage well from my vantage point.

G. ALLAN BARNES - August 11, 2017

There’s more than one important issue, such as: (pick one), stop all immigration and the abuses for illegals.
Cut ALL agencies size and number, (example: there’s almost two dozen spy agencies).
Weed out mainstream, establishment, moderate (progressive) rino republicans, like in the Senate.
Use the FBI & NSA to find out who’s leaking, then give them the choice of trial for treason, or renounce their citizenship.
Since turn about is fair play, target, tax, harrass leftist groups, individuals like conservative groups, individuals were, to see what it feels like to be set upon by the government.

Kraig Stemme - August 11, 2017

Congressional Term Limits of twelve years in either the House of Representatives or Senate are critical to the future of America. The only lifetime service should be in the Supreme Court. We MUST be rid of the career politicians who serve themselves rather than the American people. I’m glad former Heritage leaders are joining the Trump administration.

bill T Davis - August 11, 2017

If each member , past and present of the heritage foundation will simply refer to our government as a Republic a Representative Constitutional Republic. Do this several times a day. I believe this would change the mindset of the public open up discussion why our country is so great and why our Republic needs to be preserved at all costs.

Daniel Green - August 11, 2017

Congratulations to Jessica Anderson, I am sure she will help restore fiscal responsibility with the Trump administration.
Great to see so many Heritage personnel in the Trump team!
Putting God first, adhering to the US Constitution and restoring our religious freedoms.

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - August 11, 2017

Impressive list. With so much going on since President Trump took office, I think there are more than one policy that are important for America to continue to be a strong and free Republic.

Tom Lanners - August 11, 2017

Great to see Heritage people in important and responsible positions.
The number one policy they can all work on to some degree: see where their agency is hurting individual liberty, and/or business, and then get rid of the rules or regulations that are strangling everyone. Secondly, work on eliminating your Department, unless it is a Constitutionally valid one.
If you are not sure, check with your former Employer.

Ralph Morrison - August 12, 2017

Heritage Staff working in the Trump Admin and being his appointees is the only confidence I have that this president can help America. Thank you Heritage for your service. Your work has not gone unnoticed.

Waclaw Jerzy Borken-Hagen - August 12, 2017

Hopefully, infusion of patriotic Americans
will serve to drain the swamp created by
the 0bama / Hillary cartel and expose the

BOBBY E. RICHARDSON - August 12, 2017


Katherine Hill - August 12, 2017

We are glad help is on the way. It has been
discouraging to see how some of the
politicians have acted…really not interested
in helping the citizens.

Katie Hill

Nancy Husch - August 12, 2017

Very impressive list, and smart of President Trump to have these people working for him and supporting him. Right now, support, loyalty and honesty has to be priority. To much has been leaked and to many have been disloyal to the President. I have confidence that Kelly will clear this up. Heritage continue to do good work. Will support you always.

PHILIP BIRCHALL - August 12, 2017

A most impressive showing for Heritage influence in the Administration. I wonder, of the total, this list represents what percent? When does the downsizing begin with elimination of positions over simply not filling a few here and there. Conservatives do so enjoy conserving the status quo. Democrats sell government expansion, conservative conserve the democrats progressive (read “regressive”) “advance,” both parties collect millions in contributions for the fraternity of the politically connected and life is good in the land of big government. Eliminating government agencies and their growth is much like “repeal & replace” except the former has been the broken promise of many generations whereas the later is but a “newby” in a government of “business as usual.” The people can trust Mitch and the political “elites” or support demand for Article V Convention of States.

Jerry Metcalf - August 12, 2017

Identify and remove Obama leftover rats.

Robert Deighton - August 12, 2017

Congratulations! A message to Russ Vought and Jessica Anderson at OMB. Do you have a plan to attack the “unsustainable” $20 trillion debt and shameful $250+ billion annual INTEREST, the third largest budget item? I may have the ONLY viable solution. Please have your talented, creative people contact me,

Evelyn Reilly - August 12, 2017

While I am very concerned about the President’s seeming lack of discipline in communications, I am very encouraged by the kind of people he has been surrounding himself with, especially from Heritage, which is absolutely the best source of people he could have chosen.

Cindy Baughn - August 12, 2017

Please insure we get rid of the idiot Republicans in Congress and replace them with intelligent and righteous people. DRAIN THE SWAMP.

Trevor Dupuy - August 12, 2017

Most important influence they can have collectively is the restoration of federalism to limit the federal government.

Jocelyn Tchakounte - August 12, 2017

I am delighted that these staff will proudly carry and diffuse the Heritage view for many years to come. I wished State and Commerce had admitted as many Heritage staffers as well; they need them badly.

Bea - August 12, 2017

I just hope they will all do everything possible to get ALL republicans in the house & senate to deliver on their election promises over the years- so many have gone the other way & are obstructionists!!

Dan Elmendorf - August 12, 2017

This is encouraging!

Gary Gillespie, M.D. - August 12, 2017

As former President Obama used a ‘pen and phone’ to establish policies through executive order and regulation, it is encouraging to learn of conservative appointments which may provide support for similar efforts by President Trump. When placed in positions of authority, their influence may also negate some of the effects of Obama holdovers . Republicans may be in control of the three branches of government, but are being challenged by some of those in its sprawling bureaucracy who should be replaced.

Christine - August 12, 2017

So very heartening to read of all the people associated with the Heritage Foundation becoming part of President Trump’s administration! Praying that they have wonderfully productive careers and replace the swamp monsters! Well done, former Heritage staff members!

Ed Arndt - August 12, 2017

I think that is great. Keep up the good work.

Jean Asti - August 12, 2017

Congratulations to one and all and
especially to Heritage. Thanks for
all you do.

Edgar A. Kupillas - August 12, 2017

Those Heritage members serving in the Dept. of Interior should help get rid of Dan Love and his law enforcement arm of the BLM. That agency has changed from a management agency to a regulatory agency with police powers that have been misused. Return it to a management agency.

Christine Paul - August 12, 2017

Am so glad to receive this information! I have urged my friends, family and followers to become involved in our Sentinel program and to subscribe to the DAILY SIGNAL as the only credible news source! They can save themselves time, and confusion by eliminating the main stream media and press! BUT this proves the influential nature of Heritage’s staff and policy makers!

James Rush - August 12, 2017

It is encouraging to see so many young conservatives being installed into important government positions—best way ever to “Drain the Swamp” and eventually return our country to a “rule of law”‘ by enforcing strict interpretation of the Constitution!

Victoria Chick - August 12, 2017

Excellent additions to the administration. Most valuable thing they could do is to reduce non-essential regulations over which their respective departments are in charge and add as few regulations as possible.

Art Merrifield - August 12, 2017

I am extremely pleased to see such a list of honorable, conservative and patriotic individuals appointed or nominated to serve our great nation. A lot of work is ahead of them to help restore respect and honor to our constitutional heritage. They must be aware of and help correct the damage our country has sustained through subversive movements in our educational, judicial and political system.

Dorothy Witter - August 13, 2017

I am very thankful for all the work your group has done . I was not aware of the depth of things you have accomplished ,and pray these new people will take sincerity and honesty to a new level in our government.Upholding God’s values and the true meaning of our constitution is most important to me.

Glynnda White - August 13, 2017

Any Heritage-based people that go on to serve in the administration should have in mind the first and always most important goal of Heritage or anyone who loves our nation…..smaller government, freer people, less spending, less power, elimination of over reach by government.

Christine Mueller - August 13, 2017

Wonderful news! I know that with Heritage assisting this administration we have a better chance of following our Constitution and implementing conservative, free market solutions to the problems facing our country today. Congratulations to us all!

Ann Sharon Pelletier - August 13, 2017

The most important policy to advance in this administration would definitely be taxes and health economics … and finding a bridge to Congress to resolve whatever personal issues people have and focus on bringing AMERICA as a whole to the forefront of all actions. Impressive list of personnel … can they present facts and figures to better the future of America or are we going to continue seeing a stalemate within the Congress. Who’s elected to break gridlock in the Senate? We need policies to be implemented …the sooner the better.

Ryan Lee - August 13, 2017

I hope all these newly appointed Heritage staff members can work collectively to rid of all corruption and fraud within their jurisdiction. This can save our government billions if not more. Examples would be social security, disability, food stamps.
Schools should go back to a daily Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of our National Anthem.
Do away with transgender bathrooms and all these lgbt rights. They should not dictate to the majority. Otherwise, other unsavory groups will want their rights as well.

Brother Alphonsus-Maria MacGovern - August 14, 2017

Have the HHS ABOLISH the HHS Mandate requiring Religious Organizations to support abortion causing or contraceptive inducing means. PLEASE.

Frank E. Wilgus - August 14, 2017

The Pledge of Allegiance should be recited at the start of every school day in the presence of The American Flag,
from kindergarten through high school.
What a– h–e made this change?

Tim Beck - August 18, 2017

You can catch up with Jim DeMint at the Convention of States, the organization that is calling for an Article V convention that would draft proposed amendments to the Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. Drain the Swamp.

Ann Sharon Pelletier - August 21, 2017

The President’s Agenda.

The Korkster - August 28, 2017

I support so much. My only problem is that I can not support with more donations. Keep up the great work.

Fred Garner - January 26, 2018

It is so pleasant to see conservative policies enacted and then beginning to
to work. Thank You Heritage for your expertise and dedication.
Well done.

Adrian Wright - July 6, 2018

I am an elected committeewoman from Chicago that served on both President Trump’s and Dr. Ben Carson’s campaigns. I also was a volunteer at the 2016 RNC convention and the 58th Inauguration Committee. I am hoping to be considered for a staff spot with the Trump administration either locally here in Illinois or in the DC area. Where do I submit my resume?

David Zodun - December 8, 2018

Hope you may have reached out to Representative David Brat who just lost hid bid for re-election. He is a great conservative economic guru who should be working for you, or better yet, for the Administration. Hope you can be of help to him, and vice versa.

Robert E Pilot - February 15, 2019

I’m for the wall and whatever it takes to weed out the criminal illegal aliens out. T

Thomas Zemaitis - March 9, 2019

It is great to see Trump and his administration are employing common-sense Republicans in these important positions. This is really fantastic news!
Too bad most Americans will never see this reported in the mass media!

Mack McKinney - July 23, 2019

What is John Venable doing now? He is a great asset at Heritage.

Dollie - September 28, 2019

It appears to me that y’all have been working below the radar …. out of sight, so to speak. Why not publish…not names, but broadcast widely in all forms (billboards, magazine “ads”, flyers, etc.)… brief messages sending POSITIVE data to the general population…the GOOD NEWS about what makes this nation’s people free to pursue life WITHOUT Government interference…not getting free ‘stuff’ but a guarantee of freedom of choice. Not messages from the Right of “Don’t” but rather messages of “Do.” Give us positive reasons to rise above the fray. Do you get my point here? Be on the offense, not defensive. I may be just a Mom…but isn’t that what many of us are? “The hand that rocks the cradle…”

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