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Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) has announced the following staff additions and changes to the committee’s Republican staff since the start of the 117th Congress.

“I am proud to welcome our new committee staff for the 117th Congress as we continue to advance America’s interests around the world. Last Congress, my staff helped each member of the committee pass a bill on the House Floor. I look forward to doing the same this Congress to address challenges from COVID-19, push back against human rights abuses around the world advance our foreign policy goals worldwide.” 

Yimmi Fontenot will serve as Deputy Press Secretary. Fontenot most recently served as an intern for Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX) and previously as an intern in the Office of the Secretary at the United Stated Department of Agriculture. She graduated from Texas A&M University and hails from Lake Charles, LA. Fontenot joins Leslie Shedd, who serves as communications director, and Gaby Hurt, who serves as press secretary, on the committee’s communications team.

Ana Quintana will serve as Professional Staff Member on Western Hemisphere. Quintana joins the committee from The Heritage Foundation where she led the Latin America portfolio. Quintana hails from Miami, FL and graduated from Florida International University. In her free time, she loves cooking Cuban food and failing to replicate Julia Child recipes. 

Cart Weiland will serve as Senior Counsel for management and oversight of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency on Global Media. Most recently, Weiland worked on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to that role, he worked for U.S. Senator John Cornyn, served as a policy analyst at a state-based think tank, practiced regulatory litigation at a Texas law firm, and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Weiland hails from Dallas, TX and is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School. 

Taryn Woody will serve as Special Assistant to the Staff Director. Previously, Woody served as policy associate at The Professional Services Council. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2018 and The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2020. During her time at The University of Texas she worked as a graduate research assistant at the Clements Center for National Security. She is from Rockwall, TX. 

Woody replaces Lauren Gillespie, who will serve as Director of Member Services and Coalitions. Prior to her work on the committee, Gillespie worked in the Office of Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL), who served on the committee. Gillespie is from Lake Mary, FL and is a graduate of the University of Florida. 

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