PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Congressman Gabe Amo announced two senior staff picks on Thursday, days after being sworn into office, as the newly elected Democrat settles in on Capitol Hill.
As his chief of staff, Amo said he is tapping Dylan Sodaro, whose LinkedIn page shows he has spent the last nine years as legislative director for Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr., a New Jersey Democrat.
Sodaro “has both the legislative and management experience to effectively lead our office and deliver results for the district,” Amo said in a statement. “Having served as deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Representative Pascrell, Dylan has a deep understanding of the Congress.”
As his district director, Amo has selected Kate Michaud, who is currently town manager in Warren. She testified before Congress earlier this year at a hearing on climate change led by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
Noting that Michaud has “over two decades of experience serving communities in the 1st District,” Amo said, “Kate understands the importance of robust constituent services, delivering federal resources, and coordination between local, state, and federal agencies.”
In addition, Amo has brought his campaign communications director — Matt Rauschenbach — on board to handle press in his congressional office.
No other staff picks have been named.
Amo’s office also announced that his Washington and Pawtucket offices are now open and available to handle constituent requests, and that he plans to hold a ceremonial swearing-in event in Rhode Island in early December, urging those who want to attend to RSVP online.
The moves were the latest in a whirlwind two weeks for the 35-year-old lawmaker, who won the Nov. 7 special election to replace David Cicilline with 65% of the vote. His schedule has included a series of national TV interviews, with appearances on CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries announced that Amo has been given one committee assignment to start, a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Cicilline served on that panel, as well, and its current membership includes Massachusetts Congressman Bill Keating, who represents New Bedford.
“As the son of Liberian and Ghanaian immigrants and an experienced former Biden-Harris administration official, Congressman Amo will bring a unique perspective to this important committee during a pivotal time for America’s relationships around the world,” Jeffries said in a statement, calling Amo “an extraordinary public servant.”
Amo’s election has drawn somewhat more attention in Washington than the typical arrival of a new member of the House minority, due to his status as both the first person of color from Rhode Island and the first Biden administration alum to be elected to Congress.
Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Threads, Twitter and Facebook.