Gov. Bob McDonnell has restructured his policy staff following the departures of senior policy advisor Eric Finkbeiner and other administration aides in recent months.
McDonnell announced today that he has appointed Jason Eige, now counselor to the governor, to the senior policy advisor post. Eige has Southwest Virginia ties, having clerked for Senior U.S. District Judge Glen Williams and working in the Abingdon law firm of Penn, Stuart & Eskridge.
The details of the appointments and promotions are in this release from the governor’s office:
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced appointments to his administration today in the Governor’s Policy Office. J. Jasen Eige has been promoted to counselor and senior policy advisor to the governor. Jeff Palmore will now serve as director of policy development and deputy counselor. Julia Ciarlo Hammond will take on an enhanced role in policy as director of legislative affairs and policy advisor. Christy Morton will be joining the administration as deputy director for external affairs and policy development. Andrew Lamar has been promoted to deputy director of legislative affairs and policy advisor. Jenny Wortham will take on a new role as special assistant for legislative affairs and information systems. Generra Peck will join the policy office from the Secretary of Commerce and Trade’s office as special assistant for policy development.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McDonnell commented, “Through the excellent work of our policy office, we’ve been successful in enacting important reforms that will positively affect the lives of Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth. The policy office has constantly worked to achieve the goal I set on the day I was inaugurated to create a ‘Commonwealth of Opportunity’ for all Virginians. Today we are already seeing the results including increased access to higher education, the most significant new funding for transportation in a generation, and an aggressive economic development package that is helping to bring new private sector jobs and more opportunities to Virginia. In our first two sessions of the General Assembly 86% of our legislative proposals have passed the Republican House and Democratic Senate. But there is much more work to be done. It will continue to take a strong policy office to make sure that over the next two and half years we continue to implement strong, sound policy that betters all who live, work, and visit this great Commonwealth. In order to ensure even greater success moving forward, we have restructured the policy office and put together an accomplished group of professionals who will continue to work tirelessly to advance this administration’s ambitious policy goals. I look forward to working with these fine public servants to put in place policy solutions that help all the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
Chief of Staff Martin Kent added, “I am looking forward to working with our new policy team. We have a group of dedicated, talented, and experienced individuals who will serve the Governor and the Commonwealth with distinction. This group will continue the successes of the McDonnell Administration by advancing innovative ideas for Virginia’s future. The addition of Christy Tomlinson Morton to the Administration brings a new perspective and fresh ideas to our team.”
Bios for each member of policy office can be found below as well as an outline of the new structure of the governor’s policy office.
J. Jasen Eige, Counselor and Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor
In this cabinet-level position, Jasen Eige will oversee the Governor’s Policy Office, including directing the creation of Governor McDonnell’s policy agenda and the Administration’s legislative efforts. Eige will also continue to manage the Counsel’s Office.
Since the beginning of the Administration, Jasen Eige has served as Counselor and Senior Advisor to the Governor. In that position, Eige’s duties included providing legal counsel and advice to the Governor and his Administration, and assisting with policy and legislative matters. Following law school, Eige clerked for the Honorable Glen M. Williams, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Virginia. He then joined the Abingdon law firm of Penn, Stuart & Eskridge as an associate. Eige then served in the Office of the Attorney General, beginning with Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. In the Attorney General’s Office, Eige served in several roles, including as an Assistant Attorney General in the Trial Section of the Civil Litigation Division, as a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Finance Law and Government Services Section and Acting Section Chief for the Government Services portion of the Section.
In 2007, Eige began serving as Chief of Staff and Counsel to then-Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell. Among other duties, he oversaw the Administrative Division of the Office and also took over oversight responsibilities for the Financial Law and Government Services Division.
In 2009, Eige joined Governor-elect McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign as Chief Counsel. Among other duties, he assisted with the campaign’s policy development efforts. After the election, Eige served as Counsel to the Governor-elect’s Transition Office.
Eige earned his Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Policy degrees at Regent University, after attending King College in Bristol, Tennessee, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in political science and history.
Jeff Palmore, Director of Policy Development and Deputy Counselor
Jeff Palmore will manage the Administration’s policy formulation and work with the Cabinet and their staff to implement the Governor’s policy agenda. Palmore will also serve as the Executive Director of Governor McDonnell’s Commission on Government Reform, Efficiency and Restructuring. Palmore will continue to serve as a legal advisor to the Governor and Cabinet.
Jeff Palmore has served as Deputy Counselor to the Governor since August 2010. Palmore formerly worked for Governor Bob McDonnell in the Office of the Attorney General as Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs and served as a policy advisor on Governor McDonnell’s 2009 campaign for Governor. He also served as Deputy Policy Director to Jerry Kilgore’s 2005 gubernatorial campaign and as Campaign Manager to former Congresswoman Thelma Drake’s 2004 congressional campaign. Palmore worked for several years on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., serving as Legislative Director to a now-retired Virginia congressman. Palmore served as a law clerk to Judge Henry E. Hudson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
He obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from the College of William & Mary where he was Executive Editor of the William & Mary Law Review.
Julia Ciarlo Hammond, Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy Advisor
Julia Ciarlo Hammond will lead the Administration’s legislative strategy, help develop the Governor’s policy agenda and work with members of the Virginia General Assembly to advance the Governor’s priorities. Since January, Julia has served as Director of Legislative Affairs and was pivotal to the success of the Governor’s 2011 legislative agenda, directing the Administration’s outreach to the General Assembly and stakeholder groups. This new management role will expand upon her extensive policy development and leadership experience.
Prior to joining the Administration as Director of Legislative Affairs, Julia Ciarlo Hammond was Virginia state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, the Commonwealth’s leading small business association. She also served as a policy advisor on Governor McDonnell’s 2009 campaign for Governor. Previously, she served as Director of Government Relations for the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. She also served as Special Counsel Director in the Office of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, as a legislative aide to Delegate David Albo, and Campaign Manager for Senate and House races.
Hammond earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in political communications from the University of Mary Washington.
Christy Tomlinson Morton, Deputy Director for External Affairs and Policy Development
As Deputy Director of External Affairs and Policy Development, Christy Tomlinson Morton will act as a liaison to outside constituencies to facilitate communications with the Administration and will work with stakeholders and outside organizations.
As a Specialist in Communications and Public Relations at Virginia Natural Gas, Christy Tomlinson Morton is responsible for the Company’s Community Education and Outreach initiatives. She was charged with designing and implementing the grassroots outreach campaign to educate customers about Virginia Natural Gas’ ground breaking energy conservation program and has conducted outreach throughout the Company’s service territory.
Before joining Virginia Natural Gas in March of 2009, Morton spent 7 years as a consultant for a wide array of clients with a government and public relations firm in Richmond. Morton has vast experience in legislative analysis, strategy development and forming coalitions to address client needs. Previously, she worked for Delegate Harvey B. Morgan of Gloucester where she focused on legislative and constituent affairs.
Morton received a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in Political Science and a Minor in Economics from Christopher Newport University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech with Certificates in Public Policy Analysis and Environmental Politics and Policy.
Andrew T. Lamar, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy Advisor
Andrew Lamar will work with the Director of Legislative Affairs to develop the Administration’s legislative strategy and will oversee coordination among the Governor’s Policy Office, the Governor’s Cabinet, and the General Assembly to advance the Governor’s policy agenda.
Prior to his new role, Andrew Lamar served as Legislative Liaison for the Governor’s Policy Office and Governor-elect’s Transition office. He joined the McDonnell for Governor campaign in the spring of 2009 after working as a Government Affairs Associate for Rhumb Line in Richmond. Previously, Lamar was Campaign Manager for House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell’s re-election campaign and an advisor to Richard Stuart’s campaign for the State Senate. He is a former member of the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Executive Committee.
Lamar earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is a Linwood Holton Fellow graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.
Jenny Wortham, Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs and Information Systems
As Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs and Information Systems for the Governor’s Office, Jenny Wortham’s responsibilities include coordinating the development of legislative proposals within the Governor’s Policy Office and managing the review of legislation throughout the General Assembly Session. In this position, Wortham has worked to engineer the design, implementation, and expansion of the first electronic legislative review system for the Office of the Governor.
Jenny Wortham began working for Governor McDonnell in his Transition Office. She was appointed in January 2010 as the Special Assistant for Legislative Review and Scheduling. Wortham previously worked for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the Community Affairs office.
Wortham earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics and Business from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Generra Peck, Special Assistant for Policy Development
Generra Peck will be responsible for managing daily operations in the policy office, including interaction with both internal and external offices. She will also conduct research, policy analysis and legislative development related to policy development and the Government Reform Commission.
Generra Peck will serve as Special Assistant for Policy Development. Since the beginning of the Administration, Peck has served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. In this role, Peck worked closely with the Secretariat’s 13 agencies and managed a number of special projects. Peck served as staff on the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation assigned to the Business Development and Recruitment and Energy Work Groups. Prior to her appointment, Peck served on the McDonnell for Governor campaign and as a staff assistant during Governor McDonnell’s transition.
Peck earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Richmond.