Upton names Gary Andres Energy & Commerce staff director

Incoming House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced Tuesday that Gary Andres, a former White House staff member under President George H.W. Bush, will serve as staff director for the committee in the next Congress.

Upton said in his new role, Andres will take a lead role on the Republicans' efforts to repeal the White House's healthcare bill. The GOP is also expected to fight any new climate change regulations, and the committee should serve as ground zero for those confrontations.

"For over two decades, Gary has been a leading voice in Republican policy, always seeking solutions to advance our principles to limit the size and scope of government," Upton said in a statement.

"Gary knows how to focus like a laser beam to get the job done. He is one of the most respected, most knowledgeable individuals in Republican policy who has advised Presidents and Republican Leaders through the years and has the demeanor and relationships to help advance our agenda."

Andres previous served as deputy assistant for legislative affairs to the first President Bush and was an adviser to President George W. Bush's transition team. He currently services as vice chairman of public policy and research at the lobbying firm Dutko World Wide. He has also served as a columnist for The Weekly Standard Online, Politico, National Review, and Roll Call.

Andres is also a research fellow at the American University Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He previously served vice president for Washington research at Prudential Securities and executive director of federal relations at Southwestern Bell Corp.