WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) announced today that former senior White House and congressional advisor Richard Russell will serve as Republican staff director of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Barrasso also named Brian Clifford deputy staff director for the majority.

Russell served as Republican staff director of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation from 2011-2013. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2002 to be deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and was a member of the White House National Economic Council. He also served as a U.S. ambassador during President George W. Bush’s administration. Russell is a partner at the Stanton Park Group, and is a graduate of Yale University.

Clifford is presently the executive director of the Senate Western Caucus. In addition to handling environment and infrastructure issues for Barrasso, he has also served as senior advisor to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He has held several Republican EPW subcommittee staff director roles for Barrasso. Clifford was formerly the legislative director for then-Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and also worked for former Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.). He is a graduate of Denison University and holds a master’s degree from American University.

Barrasso will take over as chairman of the committee in January, pending committee election and ratification by the Republican conference.