Announcements - March 11, 2009

Michael Cravens, chief of staff:

Cravens’s favorite part about his job so far is being able to help people who truly need it.

Cravens previously worked in his own marketing and communications firm, which he began in 2000. He also recently directed Harper’s congressional campaign.

The best advice Cravens received about his job was “first, to pray every day for God’s wisdom; secondly, to seek the counsel of others on the Hill who have excelled in this job; and finally, the importance of loyalty,” he said.

If he weren’t on Capitol Hill, Cravens would be back in his hometown in Mississippi.

Sharon Johnson, deputy chief of staff:

Johnson is excited about having the opportunity to work for the 3rd district by being the only staffer who has worked for three consecutive members since starting on Capitol Hill in 1988.

The best advice Johnson has received about her job is “what goes on in the office stays in the office” and “protect your boss at all times.”

Adam Buckalew, communications director and legislative assistant:

Buckalew has enjoyed working with all of the fascinating people from around the country. “Everyone on Capitol Hill has a story and is anxious to share their past experiences,” he said.

As far as advice, Buckalew mentioned that a good friend once told him there’s no such thing as “off the record.”

Before his new job, Buckalew worked for Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi. “Learning the legislative [process] hands-on from the 52 members of the Mississippi Senate has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career to date,” he said.

Scot Malvaney, policy director:

“Most people will never have the opportunity to work in Washington, D.C.,” Malvaney said. “I am thankful to be back on Capitol Hill for the second time, working for one of my friends who I have respected for many years.”

Malvaney was the policy director for Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant before he joined Harper’s staff.

If he weren’t on Capitol Hill, he’d like to retire to Belize without a watch or a television and read his favorite books.

Ty Mabry, military legislative assistant:

Mabry really likes that when he steps into his new office, he’s stepping into Mississippi jurisdiction. “Even though we are a long ways from home, it definitely doesn’t feel like it,” he said.

Previously, Mabry worked with Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) as a military legislative assistant. The best advice he has received is to “listen more than you talk.”

If he weren’t on Capitol Hill, Mabry would be back home working with his family’s business.


Jordan Downs, legislative assistant:

Downs has enjoyed meeting all of the new people in Harper’s office and seeing all of the constituents who come into the office.

Downs graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2008 and after graduation, immediately went to work on Harper’s campaign.

Emily Penn, executive assistant:

Penn, who has worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee, has enjoyed seeing and talking to Mississippians every day.  Penn said that D.C. is the smallest city you will ever live in, but that “you can never meet too many people.”

If she weren’t working on Capitol Hill, Penn would be involved with Teach for America.