Congressional Staffers

Beth Baltzan
Trade Counsel
Democratic Staff
House Ways and Means Committee

Beth joined the Committee staff in December 2012. She came to the Committee from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, where she was on secondment from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Office of International Affairs. Beth served at the PCAOB from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, Beth spent six years in the General Counsel’s office at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, providing legal support to free trade agreement negotiations and litigating disputes at the WTO. Before joining the government, Beth practiced trade law at HoganLovells and Patton Boggs LLP. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from Georgetown University.

Alvaro Bedoya
Chief Counsel
Democratic Staff
Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcomittee on Privacy, Techonology and the Law

Alvaro Bedoya is Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law and to its Chairman, Senator Al Franken (D.-Minn.). In this capacity, he advises Senator Franken on government and commercial privacy and cybersecurity initiatives and coordinates hearings before the Subcommittee. In particular, he has advised the Senator in investigations and legislation on location privacy, facial recognition technology, health information privacy, privacy provisions in cybersecurity, and government transparency. Alvaro is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

Michael Hermann
National Security Legislative Assistant
Rep. James R. Langevin (D-RI)

Michael serves as the National Security Legislative Assistant to Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), a senior member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees.  He is principal advisor to the Congressman on defense, homeland security, foreign affairs, intelligence, judiciary, immigration, veterans, law enforcement, science, and telecommunications policy matters, and he coordinates the Congressman’s efforts as Co-Chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus.  Previously, Michael spent 5 years as an aide to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Democratic Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, with responsibility for national security and technology issues.

Michael received his Bachelor of Music in Performance and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has a Master of Arts in Security Studies degree from National Defense University.  He has completed the Air Command and Staff College’s Distance Learning Program, the Congressional Fellowship program through the Partnership for a Secure America, the Truman National Security Scholars program, the Congress-Bundestag/Bundesrat Staff Exchange, and the MIT Senior Congressional and Executive Branch Seminar, and he appears regularly as a speaker on cybersecurity and national defense issues. Michael was also listed as one of the “Top Hill Staffers to Watch” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2011.  In his free time, he is an avid endurance athlete and climber and performs regularly as a classical, funk, and rock musician in the greater DC area.

Andy Karellas
Professional Staff
House Committee on Small Business

Andy joined the House Committee on Small Business in March 2011. He is responsible for advising and staffing the Chairman and Committee on international trade and technology issues. Andy has over 10 years of experience in public policy, including positions in the private sector, state government, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Andy received his bachelor’s degree in International Business from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a Masters in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason’s School of Public Policy in Arlington, Virginia.

Nick Magallanes
Professional Staff
House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade

Nick graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2008 with a B.A. in Economics and expects to graduate in August from George Mason University with an M.S. in Health Policy.  Prior to his current role, he spent 2009 through early 2012 working for Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and before that worked at Barbour, Griffith and Rogers here in Washington. Currently, he works on trade, FTC and NHTSA issues for the subcommittee, as well as managing health and tax issues for the personal office.

Diane Rinaldo
Legislative Director
Congressman Mike J. Rogers (R-MI)

Diane currently serves as Legislative Director for Congressman Mike J. Rogers. Congressman Rogers serves as the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is also a senior member of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Diane’s responsibilities include advising the Congressman on policy issues and initiatives; managing the policy staff; drafting legislation and implementing a legislative agenda with emphasis on cybersecurity, telecommunications and the Internet, energy, and trade. Most recently Diane managed efforts on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act for the Congressman, which passed the House floor by a bi-partisan vote of 288-142.

David B. Stewart
Assistant to the Speaker for Policy
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John A. Boehner

David Stewart serves as Assistant to the Speaker for Policy to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Honorable John A. Boehner (Bay-ner). David joined the House Republican leadership staff in 2008, as Policy Advisor to then-House Republican Leader Boehner.

As the primary economic advisor to Speaker Boehner, David focuses on taxation, international trade, financial services, public finance, social entitlements, and pension issues. He helps design, coordinate and execute legislative and oversight strategies reflecting the goals of the Speaker and House Republican Conference. David works closely with House and Senate leadership and committees, member offices, and executive branch personnel.

In 2012, David took a leave of absence from the Office of the Speaker to serve as Economic Policy Director to Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Boston. In this capacity he led the economic policy staff in developing policy positions and advising Governor Romney on economic developments. During his service as Economic Policy Director, David was selected to serve as Policy Director to the vice presidential nominee, Chairman Paul Ryan. He traveled daily with the vice presidential nominee, advising on a range of policy areas in real time.

Prior to his service to Speaker Boehner, David served as the chief policy advisor to Representative Philip S. English who represented Pennsylvania’s 3rd congressional district during 1995-2008. During his nine year tenure with Representative English, he focused on legislative issues before the House Committee on Ways and Means.

David graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, emphasis in International Politics.

Stephen Viña
Deputy Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Stephen Viña is a Deputy Chief Counsel for Homeland Security on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). In this capacity, Mr. Viña advises the Chairman on a number of homeland security issues, including cyber security, border security, and counterterrorism. Previously, Mr. Viña served on the House Committee on Homeland Security for Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) as the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, as well as the Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Viña was a legislative attorney at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) providing nonpartisan legal counsel to Congress. Mr. Viña holds a J.D. from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and is a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American.

Rachel Weaver
Staff Director
Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Rachel Weaver serves as the Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Rachel leads efforts related to homeland security, including cybersecurity, procurement policy, and federal financial management on behalf of the Senator. Prior to this she served as Lead Investigator for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman where she conducted oversight of the Transportation Security Administration. Rachel has also spent many years in the private sector, serving first at BAE Systems and then as Vice President of a small security technology firm doing business with the Federal Government. Prior to this she served as Director of the Homeland Security Council at the White House where she led oversight of department and agency progress toward homeland security mandates, including comprehensive terrorist-related screening procedures embodied in Homeland Security Presidential Directives 6, 11, and 12; the SAFE Port Act; the National Cyber Security Initiative; and the National Strategies for Maritime Security and Aviation Security. Ms. Weaver has a Master’s degree in Security Policy Studies from George Washington University.

Lydia Westlake
National Security Policy Advisor
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Lydia is the National Security Policy Advisor to Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), handling defense, intelligence, trade and foreign policy issues.  In that capacity, she handles the Senator’s work on the Foreign Relations Committee, including heading the Ranking Member’s Subcommittee on European Affairs.  She has worked on Capitol Hill, both in the House and in the Senate, for nearly a decade and has a Master’s degree in Statecraft and National Security Affairs with a specialization in Intelligence.

European Parliament Staffers

Ralpf Bendrath
Senior Policy Adviser
MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht (Germany – Greens/EFA)

Ralpf hacked the Commodore C-64 in the eighties, studied political science with a focus on international relations, security policy and information warfare in the nineties, and has been researching various aspects of internet security and privacy in the 2000s at universities in Berlin, Bremen, Delft, Washington DC and NYC. After the European elections in 2009, he started working for Jan Philipp Albrecht, Member of the European Parliament, and in September 2012 became his senior policy advisor. He also has been a civil society member of the German government delegations to the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005, and has coordinated privacy and security activities at the World Summit and the subsequent annual UN Internet Governance Forum until 2008. He irregularly blogs at and

Nina Beyersdorff
Parliamentary Assistant/Head of Office
MEP Christian Ehler (Germany – EPP)

Nina Beyersdorff has been working for MEP Christian Ehler, Chairman of the Delegation for the relations with the United States, since 2009.

As policy adviser she is responsible for the ITRE, AFET and SEDE committee. She is currently focusing on issues concerning ICT, security, research polices as well as legislation linked to Transatlantic Relations.

Before her 4 years in the European Parliament she worked as a local assistant responsible for media relations and the 2009 election campaign in Christian Ehler’s constuency office (Potsdam, Germany).

Nina holds a MA degree in Political Science and international relations from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

Alex Boyd
Lead Policy Advisor
ECR Group, International Trade Committee

Alex is the lead policy adviser on EU-USA trade relations for the European Conservatives and Reformist Group as well as adviser responsible for all budgetary matters, including the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and annual budget. Previously he was a Parliamentary Assistant for a member of the European Parliament.

Alex studied Art History at university, specializing in 1930s surrealist photographs. His interests include Africa and Chelsea football club.

Joana Canas
Trade Policy Adviser
MEP Vital Moreira (Portugal – S&D)

Joana Canas is Trade Policy Adviser to MEP Vital Moreira, Chairman of the International Trade Committee and standing rapporteur for EU-US trade and economic relations in the EP, since March 2013.

Previously, Joana worked as Junior Expert at the EU Delegation in Angola, as Senior Communication Officer at the European Service Network and as Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN in Geneva. She completed traineeships at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade and the Portuguese Parliament.

Joana holds a MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe in Bruges and a postgraduate degree in European Studies from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon.

Martti Kalaus
Senior Administrator
International Trade Committee

Martti is working in the Secretariat of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Martti joined the European Parliament in 2004, and has been working for INTA since 2009. He is the most senior administrator of INTA Secretariat, and his practice area focuses mostly on EU’s trade relations with US and Canada and on cross-border investment.

Prior to joining the European Parliament, Martti was an attorney-at-law in law firm Lepik & Luhaäär (currently LAWIN) in Tallinn, Estonia, focusing mainly on mergers and acquisitions, competition law, commercial and trade law.

He received his law degree from Tartu University (Estonia), and holds an LL.M. degree in European law from Stockholm University (Sweden).

Magnus Norman
MEP Gunnar Hökmark (Sweden – EPP)

In his capacity as assistant Magnus is responsible for issues related to the European Digital Single Market and the reform of the Internal Market. His work also entails drafting press releases, speeches and opinion pieces.

Prior to work in the European Parliament, Magnus spent three years as an Account Manager at Fleishman Hillard in Brussels, where he worked on advocacy campaigns – strategic development and execution, following legislative and institutional developments and providing clients with EU policy updates for global telecommunications and media companies.

Magnus earned his Masters degree in 2006-7 in political and administrative studies from the College of Europe, Bruges, with specialisations in European politics, economics and law. He earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Linköping, Sweden, and Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lille, France.

Balazs Rottek
MEP Kinga Göncz (Hungary)

Balazs Rottek has been a Parliamentary assistant since 2010. He advises on all issues related to the work of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, mainly dealing with fundamental rights, migration and security issues. He holds a BA degree in International Business and a Master in International Relations. Previously he pursued several internships in different international organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Commission. During his studies and internships he lived in six different countries and therefore he has a very international mindset.

Balazs considers transatlantic dialogue in security matters is of crucial importance since transnational crime, terrorism and cybercrime affect both sides of the Atlantic and a closer cooperation can only strengthen the effectiveness of the answers given. He thinks that cybercrime should be assessed and tackled globally. It is not sufficient that the EU adopts instruments within its territory, since Internet has also no borders. His interest in this field has grown due to the fact that many initiatives have been recently launched to prevent and combat cybercrime within the EU and it is also one of the priorities of the Stockholm Programme. He therefore very much looks forward to the discussions and ideas this programme can deliver.

Matilda Sisättö
Policy Advisor
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee

Matilda Sisättö is a policy advisor in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. She works with a variety of files in this area, mainly on data protection, anti-terrorism, police cooperation in criminal matters and cyber security. She is currently responsible for the trans-Atlantic files on the EU-US umbrella agreement on data protection for law enforcement purposes, the TFTP agreement and the EU-US PNR agreement. Previously she worked on the area of fundamental rights and asylum.
Prior to working in the European Parliament, Matilda worked in the Parliament of Finland and a law firm in Helsinki.

Matilda has a Bachelors in Political Science from University of Warwick and a Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy from University of London, School of Oriental and African studies.

Chris Williams
Political Advisor
International Trade Committee

Chris is a political advisor on the European Parliament’s International trade committee. Recently this has included working on dossiers such as the TTIP and the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). He is also responsible for parliamentary relations with the WTO, India, and the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries.

Chris has a Bachelors degree in law and a Masters degree in European Politics from the University of Leeds. In addition, he has spent time studying in Germany. Previously, he worked for a British Labour Member of the European Parliament on areas including transport and legal affairs.

Jan Wißwässer
Head of Office
MEP Daniel Caspary (Germany – EPP)

Since 2009 Jan Wißwässer works as head of office for MEP Daniel Caspary, who is the coordinator of the European People’s Party (EPP) Group on the International Trade Committee (INTA) of the European Parliament. Other than that he follows the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE).

Jan is a lawyer by profession. Prior to taking up his duties at the European Parliament, he gained relevant work experience in Belgium, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. He studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Lausanne.