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Homeland Security

Executive Secretary Elisa Montoya

Executive Secretary Elisa Montoya

Ms. Montoya is responsible for all correspondence, decision documents, briefings, congressional testimony and White House & Inter Agency Actions coming into and tasked out of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary Offices.  Her team’s portfolio includes but is not limited to daily intelligence and operational briefs, all correspondence with the Congress, White House staff, public & private stakeholders, and other federal agencies.

Previously, Ms. Montoya served as a National Security Director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.  In this capacity, she worked to recruit, identify, place, and manage political appointees in the Obama Administration to serve at national security federal agencies.  These include the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, State Department, USAID, Peace Corps, United Nations, and Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Before serving in the White House, Ms. Montoya served as the Counselor to the Director & White House Liaison at the United States Peace Corps. Within this capacity, she advised the director regarding the development of policy and procedure in addition to the implementation and oversight of major agency programming and decisions.  In addition she managed Peace Corps work with White House National Security Staff, the White House Council on Women & Girls, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Presidential Personnel Office, and the Office of the First Lady.  Ms. Montoya also managed the selection, on boarding, and professional development of political appointees serving at the Peace Corps.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Montoya served as a policy associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP where she advised a broad range of non-profit organizations, trade associations, and multinational corporations.  Ms. Montoya also served as a special assistant to Mayor John Hickenlooper in Denver, Colorado, where she served as the mayor’s liaison at the Denver International Airport.  In addition, she served as a counsel to both Senators Harry Reid (NV), managing civil judiciary, and telecommunications & technology issues, and Ken Salazar (CO), managing budget and appropriations policy.  In the House of Representatives Ms. Montoya worked for the Honorable Xavier Becerra (CA).

On the Obama for America Campaign in 2008, Ms. Montoya served as the National Latino Outreach Director.  In 2004, Ms. Montoya served on the Kerry-Edwards campaign as the director of technology and economic opportunity policy. 

Ms. Montoya has an AB in American Studies from Stanford University and a JDMA from the University of Southern California Law Center and the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication.  She is a Member of the California and Washington, DC Bars.

Last Published Date: July 21, 2014
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