Senator Rick Scott Names Senior Staff To Help ‘Make Washington Work’
By Sunshine State News // January 16, 2019
FLORIDA (Sunshine State News) – Sen. Rick Scott announced additions to senior staff for his Senate office.
Jackie Schutz Zeckman was previously announced as chief of staff.
Craig Carbone will serve as deputy chief of staff, Chris Hartline will serve as communications director, Leda Williams Kelly will serve as state director, Paul Bonicelli, Collin Lomagistro, and Christine Diaz will serve as senior policy advisors. Additional announcements will be made soon.
“I’m thrilled to announce such a strong group joining my staff to help fight for Florida families and Make Washington Work,” Scott said.
“Their experience and their energy will be invaluable to me as I begin the process of representing Florida in the United States Senate. We look forward to hitting the ground running and fixing problems for the people of Florida.”
- Craig Carbone will serve as deputy chief of staff. Most recently, he served as political director for Scott’s successful U.S. Senate Campaign. Prior to that, he served as deputy chief of staff in the Executive Office of the Governor, where his responsibilities included acting as a liaison with federal agencies and the White House. He started with the State of Florida in 2015, and served as the director of appointments and deputy policy director. Carbone received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and Master’s in public administration from Florida International University.
- Chris Hartline will serve as communications director. Most recently, he served as a spokesman for Scott’s Senate Campaign. Prior to that, he served as communications director for Diane Black’s Gubernatorial Campaign in Tennessee, and press secretary and communications director for the House Budget Committee under Chairman Diane Black. In that role, he led communications efforts during the House of Representatives’ successful repeal of Obamacare and the fiscal 2018 Budget Resolution, which paved the way for historic tax reform. He also served as director of federal affairs for the State of Florida and a variety of other communications roles in government and on campaigns.
- Leda Williams Kelly will serve as state director of external affairs and previously served as the director of external affairs for Scott’s U.S. Senate campaign. Prior to that, she served as the deputy director of external affairs for Gov. Scott. Kelly was also the director of operations for Scott’s successful 2014 reelection campaign. She began working in the Governor’s Office in 2012 and served as the event lead and liaison for the communications office and external affairs. Previously, she served as the associate director of external affairs for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Prior to moving to Florida, Leda worked with the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Louisiana. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University Agricultural and Mechanical College.
- The Honorable Paul J. Bonicelli will serve as a senior policy advisor focused on armed services and foreign policy issues. He served in President George W. Bush’s administration as assistant administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He served as a professional staff member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. He has served as provost, executive vice president, and dean of three colleges and universities, and as a professor of politics and international relations. Bonicelli holds a Doctorate in political science from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.
- Christine M. Diaz will serve as a senior policy advisor focused on Homeland Security issues. She joined Scott’s team in 2014, working for his reelection campaign. After joining the governor’s administration, she served as his South Florida regional director and then the governor’s Washington, D.C. director. Prior to joining Scott’s team, Diaz was a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, she served as a member of George W. Bush’s administration from 2005-2009 at the Department of Homeland Security. Diaz is a graduate of Florida International University and a native of South Florida. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.
- Collin Lomagistro will serve as a senior policy advisor focused on Commerce. He served as the Florida finance director for Rick Scott’s Senate campaign. Prior to that, he served as Scott’s director of appointments and deputy legislative affairs director in the Executive Office of the Governor. He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his Master’s in business administration from Florida International University.
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