Pelosi Names New Senior Staff to Speaker's Office

February 8, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today she has named three new senior staff members to her Speaker's office. Cheryl Parker Rose will serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, replacing Lorraine C. Miller who was recently elected Clerk of the House.  Ellen Qualls will serve in a new position, Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning; and Joseph Onek will be Senior Counsel to the Speaker.

“These three individuals bring impressive credentials and knowledge as well as national and state experience to the Speaker's operations.  I look forward to working closely with each of them as we address the priorities of the American people,” Pelosi said.

Cheryl Parker Rose, a native of Florida, has broad experience in state government and at the federal level.  She most recently served as a senior policy advisor to former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.  She also worked on strategic initiatives for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she specialized in education, health care, and economic issues.  From 2001 to 2005, Parker Rose was Counsel and Director of Policy for the Democratic Governors Association.  She was also the Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Education during the Clinton Administration.  Before coming to Washington, Parker Rose worked in the Florida State Legislature.  Parker Rose has a J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law and is a graduate from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.  She is an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee, and lives in Arlington.

“Congress' role in addressing the critical issues confronting our country has never been more significant,” Parker Rose said.  “With Speaker Pelosi leading the way, Democrats are answering the American people's call for a new direction.  I look forward to strengthening the partnership between the House and our country's state and local elected officials so we may continue to work together to increase opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

Ellen Qualls served in the office of Virginia Governor Mark Warner, where she oversaw all strategic communications and media relations, and was responsible for identifying and communicating key successful bipartisan initiatives such as education reform, fiscal reform, and economic development.  In Richmond, Qualls served as Director of Communications and Press Secretary in the Governor's Office.  Qualls worked closely with the National Governors Association when Warner served as Chairman.  Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor for Communications at former Governor Warner's federal leadership PAC, Forward Together, which helped hundreds of state and federal Democratic candidates in the 2006 cycle.  Before her career in public service, Qualls was an experienced journalist, having served as State Capitol Bureau Chief for Virginia's WDBJ Television, as well as President of the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association, and as a reporter and anchor in a number of Virginia media markets.  Qualls, a graduate of the University of Virginia, lives in Alexandria.

“Speaker Pelosi has the right priorities for the country at a crucial time,” said Qualls.  “I look forward to working with a team that has begun with bipartisan successes in the first 100 hours of the new Congress.  We will continue to address the urgent priorities of the American people, from taking on the dual challenges of global warming and energy independence, to launching an innovation agenda that will make us more competitive in a global economy, and offering a new direction on the war in Iraq.”

Joseph Onek has had a distinguished career in the public and private sectors.  After graduating from Yale Law School, he served as a law clerk to Chief Judge David Bazelon and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and then as a staff member on the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committees.  In the Carter Administration he served on the White House Domestic Policy staff and as Deputy Counsel to the President.  In the Clinton Administration he served as Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department and as Senior Coordinator for the Rule of Law in the State Department.  Outside the government, Onek was director of the Center for Law and Social Policy and a partner at Onek, Klein and Farr and Crowell and Moring.  Most recently he has been senior counsel to the Constitution Project and special counsel to the Open Society Institute.  A native of New York City, Onek attended Harvard College and the London School of Economics before entering law school.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Board Chair of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

“This is a critical time for the Congress and the country, and I thank the Speaker for the opportunity to return to government service and work on behalf of the American people,” Onek said.