Senior Staff, Subcommittees Set By Senate Commerce


Subcommittee assignments and senior staff have been solidified by the all-important Senate Commerce Committee.

Here’s who’s who and all that you’ll need to know as the GOP-led authority with oversight of the FCC in the upper body of Congress kicks off its legislative year.

“Now that we have a senior team in place, we are redoubling our effors to advance the agenda for the committee,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., committee Chairman. “This team has varied experience from the Senate, House leadership, as well as the private sector. They are well suited to help advance our agenda and pass legislation that will benefit not only Mississippi, but the entire country.”

 Wicker has tapped John Keast as Staff Director. Keast brings over 30 years of government and private sector policy expertise to the Committee, including service as staff in the Virginia House of Delegates and at a non-profit think tank. He joined Wicker in the beginning of 1994 and served as Wicker’s Chief of Staff in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2006.

Crystal Tully has been named deputy staff director. Tully has led the Commerce Committee’s communications and technology policy team since September 2017. She served previously in the offices of Sen. Wicker and Sen. John E.Sununu, R-N.H. She has also worked in the private sector with stakeholders on communications issues, and held legal clerkships with the FCC and FTC.

Steven Wall will serve the committee as General Counsel. Wall previously served on the House Committee on House Administration, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the Senate Agriculture Committee. In addition, he served in the offices of Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Rick VanMeter, who has been Sen. Wicker’s communications director since April 2018, will also serve as the communications director of the committee. VanMeter is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, and brings more than a decade of experience working in Congress and political campaigns. He most recently served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Communications Director for Congressman Adrian Smith, R-Neb.

Brianna Manzelli has been named deputy communications director of the committee. Manzelli has worked on the Commerce Committee’s communications team since July 2017. Previously, she was on the Republican National Committee’s communications team, as well as in the private sector.

Rounding out Wicker’s leadership team on the committee are senior policy advisors Ellen BearesJames Mazol, and Olivia Trusty.

Olivia Trusty

Trusty, in particular, will serve as policy director over the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Previously, Trusty handled telecommunications and technology issues for Sen. Wicker.

Prior to joining Sen. Wicker, Trusty worked on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee and served as Legislative Assistant to Congressman Bob Latta, R-Ohio.

Meanwhile, Sen. Wicker and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee, have finalized member assignments for each subcommittee.

Here’s your clip-and-save roster of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet for the 116th Congress

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. – Chairman

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii – Ranking Member


Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.


Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

Sen. John Tester, D-Mont.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.