Interior Welcomes Seven New Hires

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON – This week, the Department of the Interior announced the addition of seven individuals to join the Department. These individuals will fill positions in the Office of the Secretary, Office of Communications, the Office of the Solicitor, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

“We are building a team of qualified individuals from across the country to help carryout the work of the American people at the Department,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “I welcome each of them and I am so excited for us to work together to make the Department operate at the highest possible level to achieve our core mission.”

Immediate Office of the Secretary

Elinor Renner – Special Assistant to the Secretary

Elinor Renner worked previously as the Assistant Director for the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. In this role, she managed Heritage's internship program, working with almost 200 interns annually. She started as a Heritage intern herself, working in communications and development. She also worked as an Events Assistant and Executive Assistant to the Vice President for the Institute of Economic Freedom and Opportunity. She graduated from Harding University in 2012 with a degree in History.

Luke Bullock – Advance Representative to the Secretary

Luke Bullock joins the Interior advance team with an extensive background in advance. He has served as a lead advance representative for Rick Perry for President, Romney for President, and for the Office of the Governor of Texas. Bullock has also served as the Director of Campaign Operations for Scott Brown for United States Senate, and as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Bullock also served as a lead site manager for the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science 

Andrea Travnicek – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science

Dr. Andrea Travnicek has more than a decade of research and work experience within the natural resources, energy, agriculture, communication, aviation, UAS, and public policy fields and has negotiated on water issues at the state, federal, international, and tribal level. Travnicek was appointed as a Senior Policy Advisor by Governors Hoeven and Dalrymple in North Dakota. Dr. Travnicek also has experience working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an environmental consulting firm in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Ducks Unlimited. She holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources Management/Communication and has professional experience working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. 

Office of Communications

Heather Swift – Press Secretary

Before her appointment as the Department's Press Secretary, Heather Swift was a member of the Interior Beachhead Team. She joined after serving in Zinke's congressional office as Communications Director and as his Deputy Campaign Manager. Prior to her service with Zinke, Ms. Swift held various communications positions at public affairs firms and U.S. Senate races across the country. She is a two-time graduate of Saint John's University in New York City, where she earned a Bachelors of Science in Public Relations and graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s of Science in International Communications.

Alex Hinson – Deputy Press Secretary

Alex Hinson recently served as an appointee in the Trump White House as a Lead Press Representative. In this role, Hinson was responsible for media logistics and inquiries involving the President of the United States while the President was outside of the 18-acres of the White House complex. He also served as a press and logistics consultant to the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign, and a Division Chief for the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he received degrees in Political Science and Business Marketing.

Eli Nachmany – Writer

Eli Nachmany comes to the Department of Interior after working as an Advance Press Lead on the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. He also worked as an Event Coordinator on the Presidential Inaugural Committee, concentrating on the President's Swearing-In Ceremony. Nachmany graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Sports Management. He has deferred his start date at Harvard Law School to serve in the administration.

Office of the Solicitor 

Gary Lawkowski – Counselor to the Solicitor

Prior to joining the Department of the Interior, Gary Lawkowski worked on a number of complex compliance questions as Legal Counsel to a national nonprofit organization. He also served as Counsel to Chairman Lee E. Goodman and Vice Chairman Donald F. McGahn at the Federal Election Commission.  A native of Virginia, Mr. Lawkowski earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction from the University of Virginia.

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