Home>Articles>Booker retools Senate operation after key staffers join Biden administration

Tom Pietrykoski, right, walks with U.S. Senator Cory Booker to a press conference Booker held outside his Newark Central Ward home after announcing that he would seek the Democratic nomination for president on February 1, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/Patrick Murray.)

Booker retools Senate operation after key staffers join Biden administration

U.S. Senator from New Jersey announces key staff hires, promotions

By David Wildstein, April 23 2021 3:39 pm

U.S. Senator Cory Booker has restructured his press operation, hiring Ahmed Elsayed as his new press secretary.

Tom Pietrykoski has been promoted from press secretary to deputy communications director and Amahree Archie has been elevated from press assistant to deputy press secretary.

A Bloomfield native, Pietrykoski worked for Pascrell before joining Booker’s staff as New Jersey Press Secretary in 2015.  He also worked on Booker’s bid for the presidency, spending time on the ground in Iowa.

Elsayed is a North Bergen native and Rutgers graduate who started out in politics as an intern for Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson).  He was the communications director for Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-California) after working on the presidential campaign of John Delaney, a former Maryland congressman and Wood-Ridge native.

Booker named Jeff Giertz as senior advisor and communications director.  Giertz became communications director for Booker in early 2015 and returned to the Senate post after working on Booker’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Archie has worked for Booker since 2019.

Booker has been forced to retool his Senate staff after President Joe Biden hired a number of top advisors:

* Matt Klapper, Booker’s chief of staff and longtime top advisor, is now at the U.S. Department of Justice as chief of staff to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

* Louisa Terrell, a former Booker chief of staff, will serve as director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.

* Chris Slevin, who began his political career working for then-West Orange Mayor John McKeon in 2000 and later served as Booker’s legislative director from 2014 to 2018, will be Biden’s deputy director legislative affairs.

* Tona Boyd, a former chief counsel to Booker, was named Special White House Counsel.

* Sabrina Singh, who served as National Press Secretary for Booker’s 2020 presidential run, was named Deputy Press Secretary to the Vice President.

* Veronica Duron, who had served as Booker’s legislative director, is expected to replace Klapper as the senator’s chief of staff.

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