December 20,2012

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Baucus Picks Veteran Finance Staffer Amber Cottle as Staff Director

Cottle Chosen to Direct Committee as Senator Takes on Tax Reform, Works to Boost Job Creation

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today named Amber Cottle as the new Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee, where she will lead the committee’s day-to-day operations and serve as the chief strategist for long-term policy plans.  A five year veteran of the Finance Committee, Cottle was promoted from her position as the committee’s Chief International Trade Counsel.

“Amber has vast experience in both economic and international policy.  She is well respected in the business, labor, policy and academic communities and is known for her leadership and dedication.  She is also an expert negotiator, skills which will prove vital in my efforts to reform the nation’s tax system,” Senator Baucus said.  “Amber is a problem solver who works across party lines to get results.  She is exactly the type of person I want leading my team for years to come.”

Cottle replaces long-time staff director Russ Sullivan, who is leaving the Senate after 18 years to return to the private sector and to invest more time in the 18 young people for whom he has served as a foster parent. 

“Russ has the unique ability to see all sides of an issue and find solutions to the most vexing policy challenges.  He has been a tremendous asset and will be missed,” Senator Baucus said.  “I thank Russ for his years of dedicated service and friendship, and applaud him for stepping up to take on an important role in helping these young people succeed in life.”

Cottle joined the Finance Committee in 2007 and prior to this promotion had been Chief International Trade Counsel.  In this capacity, she advised Senator Baucus, as well as members and staff of the committee and Democratic Caucus, on trade and international economic issues. 

Prior to her career in the Senate, Cottle gained nearly ten years of experience in international trade law and policy.  Sheserved for three years as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Investment, where she served as the chief negotiator of the investment provisions of multiple U.S. free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties.  Prior to that, Cottle served for two years as Assistant General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she represented the United States in several World Trade Organization dispute settlement proceedings. 

Cottle also worked in the International Group of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering for four years, and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Louis University.   

"The Finance Committee staff is second to none and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this team of talented and dedicated public servants.  I look forward to working with Chairman Baucus and assisting in his efforts to reform the tax code, create jobs in Montana and across the country, boost the economy and put America back on track,” Cottle said.