WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 – Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced today a series of committee and personal staff changes, including naming his chief of staff T.A. Hawks as Republican staff director of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

Cochran, committee ranking member, said Bruce Evans, who has been the Republican staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee since 2006, will serve as his new personal chief of staff.

“I look forward to my new role on the Senate Agriculture Committee,” Cochran said. “T.A. and Bruce have both exhibited very good leadership skills and dedication to hard work. T.A. has effectively managed my office, and Bruce has done outstanding work in coordinating and managing the Republican appropriations staff. I am confident that they will both serve well in their new positions.”

Cochran also named Steven Wall, who was his legislative director and counsel, as general counsel for the committee.

“Steven has developed a very good record of service in both the public and private sectors that will be a benefit on the committee,” Cochran said.

Hawks, a native of Hernando, Miss., has been Cochran’s chief of staff since January 2009.  He joined the Cochran staff in 2000 and was promoted to legislative director before becoming chief of staff.  Hawks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Tennessee.

Prior to his experience with the Senate Appropriations Committee, Evans, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University, served as the clerk for the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. He has also been staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Evans started his career on Capitol Hill in 1989 after working two years in the Commerce Department. He is a native of Olympia, Wash.

Wall, a native of Oxford, Miss., joined Cochran’s staff in February 2009 as legislative director and counsel.  He was previously legislative counsel to former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., from 1998 to 2004. Wall earned a Bachelor of Public Administration from the University of Mississippi in 1991, a Juris Doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1995, as well as a Master of Science degree in European and International Politics from the University of Edinburgh in 1995.

In addition, Cochran elevated two legislative assistants to legislative director and deputy legislative director positions.  Adam Telle, his current legislative assistant for military and homeland security policies, will be legislative director, and Will Todd will be deputy legislative director. Todd has been a legislative assistant for education, foreign affairs and international trade.

“Adam has demonstrated an excellent talent for understanding the legislative process and a dedication to helping Mississippi. In the same way, Will Todd has proven to be a proficient member of my staff for a broad range of issues,” Cochran said.  “I am certain both will excel in their new capacities.”

Telle, a native of Northport, Ala., has worked for Cochran since January 2007.  He assumed national security policy responsibilities in 2009, having previously advised Cochran on homeland security and transportation issues. Telle has also served as deputy press secretary for the senator.  Prior to working for Cochran, Telle served on the staff of Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. Telle received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Mississippi State University in 2005. 

Todd, a native of Senatobia, Miss., has worked for Cochran since June 2007.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Mississippi in 2005, and completed a Master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009.  In 2011, Todd served as a congressional fellow for the Partnership for a Secure America and completed National Defense University’s National Security Strategy Program.


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