Sen. Cochran Announces New Chief of Staff, Personnel Changes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced personnel changes, including the naming of Keith Heard to be chief of staff of his personal office and promoting legislative director Adam Telle to a deputy chief of staff and legislative director position.

Cochran, the new chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, on Tuesday also confirmed that his current chief of staff Bruce Evans will be staff director on the appropriations panel.

“The new Congress will be an exciting time to serve in the Senate, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance policies that will expand economic opportunity and enhance our national security interests. I am naming a leadership team that will be able to capably advise me in carrying out my responsibilities to represent Mississippi in the Senate,” Cochran said.

Heard is a partner with the Washington-based TCH Group, and has worked previously for Cochran in legislative and political capacities. He worked on Cochran’s first Senate campaign and was among the Senator’s first Senate staff members, working on legislative and appropriations issues. In 1985, Heard joined the private sector where he held a number of positions before joining the TCH Group, including executive positions for the National Cotton Council and National Corn Growers Association. Heard has extensive political experience with the Republican Party in Mississippi. A native of Brooksville, Heard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Mississippi State University. Heard and his wife, Chrissy, have four children and reside in Columbus, Miss.

Telle, who has worked for Cochran since 2007, was named legislative director in 2013. Prior to that promotion, the Northport, Ala., native was a legislative aide whose responsibilities included national security, homeland security and transportation policies. He also served as deputy press secretary. Prior to working for Cochran, Telle served on the staff of Senator 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. He is a former MSU student body president.

Evans was named Cochran’s chief of staff in 2013 after serving as the Republican staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee since 2006. Prior to that, Evans had been the clerk for the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and also 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 U.S. Department of Commerce. A native of Olympia, Wash., Evans earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University.

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