Jim Jefferies leaves Alexander staff

News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s office

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today announced the following staff changes:

Liz Wolgemuth will be promoted to Senior Communications Director and Speechwriter, replacing Jim Jeffries, who is moving to Seattle. Margaret Atkinson will be promoted to Communications Director.

Alexander said: “Washington, D.C.’s loss is Washington state’s gain. Jim Jeffries is one of the savviest and most reliable media advisers in the nation’s capital. He has surely earned my respect during our eight years together. While I will greatly miss him, I am delighted he has this excellent professional opportunity with Paul Allen.”

Liz and Margaret will oversee all of Alexander’s press efforts, in Tennessee, as chairman of the HELP committee, as chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and as a member of the Senate’s committees on energy and rules.


Jim Jeffries is leaving one Washington and moving to another—in January, he will join Seattle-based Vulcan, Inc., as head of executive communications for Paul Allen. Jeffries joined the Alexander team in 2009 and served as communications director over Alexander’s personal office and the HELP Committee since 2013. Jim was Alexander’s principal communications advisor and media spokesman. Jim started in Congress in 2002 with then-Congressman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), after which he served as speechwriter for then-House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio). Immediately prior to joining Alexander’s team, Jim was a writer for Frank Luntz’s language-strategy firm. Jim is a graduate of Brigham Young University, and he and his wife, Rachel, have three sons.


Liz Wolgemuth, previously Alexander’s Senior Communications Advisor and Speechwriter at the HELP committee, will assume the role of Senior Communications Director overseeing Alexander’s press efforts. She previously served as Alexander’s committee press secretary and was a press secretary in his Senate office. She was a senior editor at U.S News & World Report in Washington, D.C., before joining Alexander’s team. She was previously a business reporter at the Northwest Herald in Illinois. She earned a Master of Science in Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a B.A. in English at Fordham University in New York City. Liz and her husband, Tim, have two children.


Margaret Atkinson, previously Press Secretary at the HELP Committee, will be Alexander’s Communications Director. She joined the Alexander team in 2010 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Journalism and worked in Alexander’s personal office until moving to the committee in 2014. Margaret is from Memphis, Tenn.

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