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Secretary Napolitano Names Chani W. Wiggins as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs

Release Date: 
February 26, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today her appointment of Chani W. Wiggins as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. Napolitano also announced Nelson Peacock and Sue Ramanathan as deputy assistant secretaries for DHS Legislative Affairs.

“This strong and experienced team will continue this department’s commitment to seamless communication and partnership with Capitol Hill,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Chani’s extensive political repertoire and reputation during her tenure working in both Houses of Congress will further strengthen our important relationship with legislators going forward.”

Chani W. Wiggins, Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs

Chani W. Wiggins is currently Legislative Director for Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, playing a key role in developing and implementing her legislative agenda. During her tenure, Wiggins advocated the Senator’s position on government oversight and reform through various initiatives, including introduction and passage of legislation to give federal inspectors general more independence and authority.

Wiggins is also credited for launching the first Bipartisan Legislative Directors group, which now meets regularly to strengthen relationships across party lines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Florida, College of Journalism.

Nelson Peacock, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs

Senior Counsel to former Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Senate Committee on the Judiciary, responsible for developing and implementing his legislative and political strategy on issues pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee, including crime, homeland security and intellectual property issues. He holds a Juris Doctor from University of Arkansas School of Law and a Masters of Law from George Washington University School of Law.

Sue Ramanathan, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs

Majority Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, advising Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman and Democratic committee members on border security and management issues related to border agencies within DHS. She holds a Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law and a Masters of Law from Georgetown University Law Center.

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