WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) today announced several recent additions and changes to the staff of the Committee.

Associate General Counsel Michael Bloomquist has been promoted to Chief Counsel, replacing Barry Beringer who passed away on September 29th after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  Mr. Bloomquist, 34, joined the Science Committee this March, after four years with the Washington, D.C. law firm Patton Boggs LLP.  Prior to Patton Boggs, the Solicitor’s Office of the Department of the Interior hired Mr. Bloomquist into the Office’s honors program. 

A Scarsdale, NY native, Mr. Bloomquist graduated from Hamilton College, in Clinton NY in 1991, with Bachelor of Arts in History, and interned with Chairman Boehlert the same year. He earned his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1995 and a Masters in Environmental Law from the George Washington University in Washington DC in 1997. 

Tim Hughes has been hired as Majority Counsel to the Science Committee, where he is assigned to the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.  Mr. Hughes joins the Committee after four and a half years in private practice as a communications lawyer at the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath in Washington, D.C.  Prior to his work in communications law, Mr. Hughes was an attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel for the United States Secret Service. 

Mr. Hughes, 31 and a native of Potomac, MD, earned a Bachelor of Science with honors from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1994, and received his law degree from William and Mary in 1997.

Dan Byers has been promoted from Research Subcommittee Chairman Nick Smith’s (R-MI) Professional Staff designee to Subcommittee Staff Director.   Mr. Byers, 28, takes over the vacancy left when Dr. Peter Rooney was named Deputy Staff Director of the full Committee in July.  Prior to joining the Committee in December 2001, Mr. Byers was a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Smith, and an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow for the Congressman, working primarily on agriculture issues.

A native of Knox, PA, Mr. Byers graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997, with a Bachelor of Science and earned his Masters in Soil Science in 1999 from North Carolina State University.

Replacing Mr. Byers as Subcommittee Chairman Smith’s designee is David Finger.  Mr. Finger joined Rep. Smith’s staff in October 2002 as a Legislative Assistant, working on a number of issues including science.  Prior to serving the people of Michigan on Capitol Hill, the East Lansing native worked for Michigan Governor John Engler.  He joined the Governor’s Constituent Services Division in January 2001, and in August 2002, he transferred to the Governor’s Washington, D.C. office.

Mr. Finger, 25, graduated from Michigan State University in December of 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in political economy.

Dr. Kathryn Clay joins the Energy Subcommittee as Professional Staff designee for Chairwoman Judy Biggert (R-IL).  Before joining the Subcommittee, Dr. Clay worked as an independent consultant on energy and environment issues with clients that included the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the National Commission on Energy Policy. 

In 2003, Dr. Clay, 34, earned her Ph.D. in at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Applied Physics. Her dissertation involved an energy and emissions analysis of electric and hybrid vehicles.  While in school,  she also worked with the Alternative Vehicles Division of Ford Motor Company in the Battery Group, developing tests for charging protocols for the battery packs under development for Ford’s electric vehicle program.  A native of Three Rivers, Michigan, Dr. Clay received her Master in Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1996 and her Bachelor of Arts in physics and mathematics in 1990 from Kalamazoo College, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.