Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced new staff members in her Washington, DC and Juneau, Alaska offices on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of work ahead in this new Congress, and I’m excited to announce several great additions to my team to help take it on. These individuals will fill key roles and work hard on behalf of Alaskans to advance our state’s interests,” said Senator Murkowski.
Matt Robinson, born and raised in Fairbanks, joins the DC office as Legislative Assistant for fisheries and oceans. Matt earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks before joining the North Pacific Fishery Management Council as an Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow in 2015. After his fellowship, he joined Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC), where he worked for five years managing the harvest of BBEDC’s federally-allocated community development quota and representing the organization at various fisheries regulatory meetings. Matt also worked as a fisheries and marine policy analyst with AKWA-DC alongside two former fisheries policy leads from Senator Murkowski’s DC office.
Katherine Lessard joins the DC office as a Legislative Correspondent. Katherine is from Anchorage and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage. During her time at UAA, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Kathryn Milligan-Myhre’s lab. After graduating from UAA, Katherine worked on Senator Murkowski’s 2022 campaign team. Katherine will be assisting the Oceans and Fisheries Team.
Matt Jones joins the DC office as a Staff Assistant. Matt is from Eagle River and graduated from Chugiak High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Marquette University. Matt previously worked on Senator Murkowski’s 2022 reelection campaign.
Bella Smith joins the DC office as a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. Bella holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from Vermont Law School where she focused on water, marine, and coastal law, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. Bella previously served as a Water, Energy, and Natural Resources Legal Extern at the Arizona House of Representatives, and most recently as a Marine Policy Consultant for New England Aquarium.
Kara Hollatz will lead the Juneau office as Delegation Representative for Southeast Alaska for both Senator Murkowski and Sullivan. Kara is a lifelong Alaskan with a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from University of Alaska Southeast and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Western Washington University. Prior to joining Senator Murkowski’s team, she worked for UW Medicine’s air medical transport service Airlift Northwest, where she did outreach and business development throughout Southeast Alaska as well as social media marketing. Kara has also worked in marketing for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and as a K/1 teacher in the Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy program at Harborview Elementary School in Juneau.
Dana Herndon joins the DC office as a Legislative Assistant, where she will serve as Appropriations Coordinator and Arctic Policy Coordinator. Dana was a Regional Director for Southeast Alaska for both Senator Murkowski and Sullivan for the past four years. Prior to joining Senator Murkowski’s office, she served as Communications Director for the Juneau Economic Development Council and Principal at Higher Image Management, a public relations agency.
Stacy Pense is being promoted from Staff Assistant to Grants, Correspondence, and Intern Coordinator in the DC office. Prior to joining Senator Murkowski’s office, she worked in the credit union industry in various positions for 22 years. Stacy is from Fairbanks.
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