August 08,2018

Press Contact:

Katie Niederee and Nicole Hager, 202-224-4515

Hatch Announces Updates to Finance Committee Communications Operation

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today announced a new communications team: Katie Niederee will take on a new role as the majority communications director, Nicole Hager will continue on as press secretary and Brigid Ueland will serve as press assistant.

After nearly eight years, Communications Director Julia Lawless will be departing the committee staff. Lawless has worked for Hatch since he became the top Republican on the committee in 2011, first as press secretary, until 2014 when Hatch promoted her to communications director. She has overseen communications strategy across the committee’s jurisdiction – the largest of either chamber of Congress – including the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code in three decades and the passage of bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in 2015.

“Julia is the tip of the spear: She’s sharp, tactical and quick on her feet,” Hatch said. “Not only is Julia an outstanding communicator, but she has a strong command of congressional dynamics and the committee’s broad range of issues. Her thoughtful leadership has been invaluable throughout all of the committee’s endeavors, including the biggest changes to the tax code in 30 years. I wish her all the best in her next steps.”

Hatch continued, “While I will certainly miss Julia and all that she brought to my staff, I know Katie, Nicole and Brigid are ready to advance our robust Finance Committee agenda. Whether it’s working to advance nominations or finding pro-growth solutions to tax, trade, health care or oversight policy challenges, I have a strong press team in place that’s ready to rock ‘n’ roll to promote the goals and achievements of the committee.”

Both Niederee and Hager joined the committee last year and played pivotal roles in the implementation of the strategic and tactical messaging strategies for comprehensive tax reform. Prior to joining the committee in May 2017, Niederee served as communications director for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) after working as his press secretary for several years and helping him get re-elected to the Senate in 2016. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Niederee was part of Dallas-based The Richards Group’s public relations practice. Hager joined the committee from the office of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) where she served as deputy press secretary. Ueland previously interned for the committee before returning to focus on policy and speech writing, but will now also assist with day-to-day committee communications responsibilities.

Niederee will continue as part of Hatch’s senior team, which also includes Staff Director Jeff Wrase, Policy Director Becky Cole, Chief Tax Counsel Jennifer Acuña, Chief Trade Counsel Shane Warren, Health Policy Director Jennifer Kuskowski and Chief Oversight Counsel Chris Armstrong.