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Chairman Menendez Announces New Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff Director

WASHINGTON – Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) announced today he is appointing his longtime aide Damian Murphy as Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Murphy will replace Jessica Lewis, who was confirmed today by the Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

  “I am thrilled to announce Damian Murphy as SFRC Staff Director. Damian is a trusted advisor and a respected foreign policy strategist who has been integral in helping our Committee develop a comprehensive strategy over the last eight years to ensure we project the wisdom of our democratic ideals as we adjust to new threats and new demands across the world. From confronting a belligerent Russia, to conducting oversight of U.S.-Afghanistan policy, and designing a new Eastern Mediterranean architecture rooted in security and prosperity, Damian has been forceful and effective in implementing my agenda as Chairman.

“Damian comes to this role at a time when our Committee is pursuing its most ambitious agenda in years. SFRC members and staff are more focused than ever on promoting diplomacy that advances American interests worldwide, reasserting the Committee’s priorities in matters of national security, and spearheading the way our nation competes with China, defeats COVID-19 and confronts some the most significant foreign policy challenges in a generation.  I am confident Damian’s experience, intellect, values, and work ethic will make him an exceptional Staff Director, and I am grateful to have assembled such a talented, established and experienced team that shares my commitment to a robust American foreign policy that champions the values of democracy, peace, and the preservation of human rights.

“While I’m sad to see Jessica Lewis end her career on Capitol Hill, she has my deep appreciation and sincere gratitude for her many contributions over the years to the Committee, the United States Congress, and the people of New Jersey. I am very glad my colleagues were able to put partisan politics aside, recognize the benefits to America’s security and foreign policy interests that her confirmation will deliver, and ultimately allow Ms. Lewis to continue serving our nation at the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.”

Damian Murphy most recently served as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where his work focused on Europe and South/Central Asia. In this position, he conducted oversight of U.S. policy and foreign assistance across more than 60 countries and led multiple legislative efforts related to sanctions on Russia, oversight of U.S. policy towards Afghanistan, and the U.S. government’s formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.  In the Senate, he previously served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Foreign Policy, Defense and Homeland Security for Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). Prior to Capitol Hill, Mr. Murphy worked for more than a decade to advance the democratic process, human rights and good governance at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Freedom House and the Center for Democracy.