Boot Camp Instructors
Meet our boot camp instructors – experienced congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle, who have conducted oversight investigations in a variety of roles.
Meet our roster of bipartisan boot camp instructors
Each boot camp is taught by four instructors, two Democrats and two Republicans who are former or current congressional investigators with years of experience. All of the instructors below have led one or more oversight boot camps.
Mohammad Aslami is deputy chief of staff for the Colorado House Majority Office. From 2014 to 2017, he served a political appointment with the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Energy. At the Department of Energy, he worked in the Office of the General Counsel and Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, where he advised department officials in responding to congressional oversight and investigation requests, and helped prepare senior officials for congressional hearings. Previously, Aslami worked for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Before government service, he was an attorney for a think tank in Washington, D.C., focusing on post-conflict natural resource management issues. Aslami earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. He earned his law degree and two master’s degrees from Syracuse University.
Katie Bailey is director of governmental affairs for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she was staff director of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, under Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). Bailey previously was vice president of Access Group Inc. (now AccessLex); director of government affairs and a personal office legislative assistant under U.S. Sen. Tom A. Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) on the HSGAC; vice president of the Education Finance Council; and legislative assistant on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce under Chairman John Boehner (R-OH). Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and her master’s degree from Baylor University’s J.M. Dawson Institute.
Portia Bamiduro is chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. She previously worked for Carper on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she was senior counsel for Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. During her time on the Hill, she has handled oversight investigations on a wide range of issues, including compliance with the Federal Records Act, Hatch Act, ethics disclosure laws, the IRS review of applications for tax-exempt status, the Waters of the United States rulemaking process, and the online purchase and shipment of illicit opioids via the mail system. Prior to working on the Hill, Bamiduro worked for nearly six years at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division where she investigated and prosecuted international price-fixing and bid-rigging cartels, and other white-collar crime. She earned her bachelor’s from the University of Richmond and her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.
Jen Barblan is chief counsel for oversight and investigations for Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She previously was counsel at the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and prior to that was senior counsel at the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Barblan has led investigations into numerous topics, including opioid distribution, the substance use treatment industry, sexual abuse in organized sport, cybersecurity practices, the security clearance process, and small business contracting fraud, and, as chief counsel, directed more than 25 oversight hearings. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Barblan practiced law in the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP. She earned her bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Virginia.
From 1985 to 2014, Elise Bean worked for Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), including 15 years at the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Appointed as his PSI staff director and chief counsel in 2003, Bean handled investigations into such matters as money laundering, offshore tax abuse, corruption, and corporate misconduct. After Levin retired in Jan. 2015, and the Levin Center at Wayne Law was established in his honor, Bean joined the center staff. In 2015 and 2016, Bean was included in the Global Tax 50, a list compiled by the International Tax Review of the year’s top 50 individuals and organizations influencing tax. In 2011 and 2013, the Washingtonian magazine named her one of Washington’s 100 most powerful women. Bean is a graduate of Wesleyan University and earned her law degree from the University of Michigan.
Machalagh Carr serves as General Counsel to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. She was previously General Counsel and Parliamentarian for House Committee on Ways and Means under Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and before that was oversight staff director for Ways and Means. She previously was Director of Oversight and Investigations at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and prior to that was senior counsel of oversight and investigations for the House Committee on Natural Resources. Carr has handled investigations of private companies as well as government agencies. She has conducted interviews and depositions, hearings, drafted legislation, worked closely with whistleblowers on issues ranging from the Endangered Species Act to Civil Asset Forfeiture, and constitutional issues arising out of the introduction of proxy voting and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, she served as counsel in the Office of Global Compliance of an international energy company. From 2006 to 2009 she practiced in the Litigation, White Collar and Government Investigations Group at Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons). She taught trial practice at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.
Pablo Carrillo currently serves as of counsel with Squire Patton Boggs. He is also a director of the R Street Institute and Executive-in-Residence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Before returning to private practice, Mr. Carrillo served as chief of staff to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and was responsible for development and implementation of the Senator’s legislative and congressional oversight strategy and several high-profile oversight investigations. During his tenure on the Hill, he served as minority general counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee where, among other duties, he helped advise on the minority’s oversight and investigative activities. While majority chief investigative counsel to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, he pursued a public corruption investigation of a multibillion-dollar Air Force procurement program. He also served as chief investigative counsel to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, where he investigated lobbying misconduct that, after disclosure, ultimately led to 17 guilty pleas and convictions. Carrillo is a graduate of Tulane University and earned his law degree from Tulane Law School.
Margaret Daum is staff director for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she was staff director and chief counsel for McCaskill on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Since 2009, she has directed more than 40 oversight hearings for McCaskill, including on police militarization, POW-MIAs, National Guard, Arlington National Cemetery, whistleblowers, sexual assault and counter-narcotics contracts in Central and South America. From 2005 to 2009, Daum was counsel to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to joining the House Committee, she was an associate at the New York office of the law firm of White & Case LLP. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and her law degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Andy Dockham is staff director and chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He previously worked for U.S. Sen. Tom A. Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) from 2010 to 2015, including as his counsel on PSI. During that time, he led investigations of several federal benefit programs, including a bipartisan investigation detailing a conspiracy by legal and medical professionals to award $550 million in disability benefits based on fraudulent medical records. During the 114th Congress, Dockham was general counsel of the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Dockham was an associate at the law firm of Cflexell & Moring in Washington, D.C. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Jennifer Gaspar is deputy staff director and chief counsel for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC). She joined the Select Subcommittee as chief investigative counsel in June 2020, from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform where she was counsel under Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and the late Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD). Gaspar previously served as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where she handled a variety of investigations as well as civil and criminal litigation. She also worked as a prosecutor for both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. She has an extensive background in political campaigns, including as the North Carolina Voter Protection director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, the London School of Economics, and Johns Hopkins University.
Mark Greenblatt has been nominated to serve as inspector general for the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM). The EXIM IG is responsible for conducting independent audits, investigations, and evaluations of operations and providing objective information to promote integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness in EXIM’s management, decision-making and accountability. He currently is assistant inspector general for investigations at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In that capacity, he runs the IG’s investigations division, which includes leading a staff of approximately 40 investigators in four offices around the country and supervises a docket of roughly 130 criminal and administrative investigations. He also was deputy assistant IG for compliance and ethics, and director of special investigations. He has worked for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations as the deputy chief counsel and later minority staff director and chief counsel. He earned his degrees from Duke University and Columbia University Law School.
Steven Groves is assistant special counsel to the president, representing the Executive Office of the President in regard to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Prior to that, he was chief of staff to Ambassador Nikki Haley at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. On Capitol Hill, Groves was senior counsel to U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations where he led the subcommittee’s investigation of the “oil-for-food” scandal, the most extensive congressional probe ever conducted of the United Nations. Groves also has been a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, an associate at Boies Schiller Flexner and assistant attorney general for the state of Florida.
Alan Kahn is Chief Investigative Counsel for U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC). He has also worked as an investigative attorney and senior counsel for the HSGAC Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight and the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery. He has developed investigations, drafted legislation, and advised on a wide range of issues including the federal housing response to Hurricane Katrina, oversight of private security contractors and police training in Afghanistan, contracting reform in overseas contingencies, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. supply chain security concerns, and the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He previously worked in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Legal Division and as the Public Interest Director for the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to his time in government, he was a public defender at The Legal Aid Society in New York in the Criminal Defense Division. While at Legal Aid, he advocated on behalf of hundreds of clients and successfully defended individuals at numerous bench and jury trials. He began his legal career at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Peter Kenny is chief investigative counsel for Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and served in the same capacity for the late-Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD). Previously, he served as deputy chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations where he conducted bipartisan investigations into financial misconduct. Prior to that, he served as counsel and senior counsel to Rep. Cummings on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (2011-2017), including as lead counsel on its Subcommittee on National Security, and on the Select Committee on Benghazi (2014-2016). During his nearly nine years on the Hill, Kenny’s work has included some of the most high-profile congressional investigations and hearings. He is a graduate of University of Michigan, earned a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Chris Lucas is director of global government affairs for BNY Mellon. Prior to BNY Mellon, he was legislative counsel for U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) covering the Banking Committee as well as tax, trade, agriculture and small business issues. Lucas also has served as investigative counsel to Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as counsel to U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee where he covered banking and Small Business Administration lending. Lucas has worked on local, city, state, and federal campaigns, as a legislative assistant for the Monroe County Legislature in Rochester, New York, and as a legal assistant to the Special Victims and Rackets Divisions of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. He earned his bachelor’s from the University of Rochester and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Liam McKenna is associate general counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Before joining the Department, he served as general counsel and parliamentarian for Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), and before that in the same role for Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). His previous work on the Hill includes stints as senior counsel for cybersecurity on OGR, chief counsel for Homeland Security for Chairman Ron Johnson on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC), and investigative counsel for Ranking Member Tom Coburn on HSGAC. Before beginning his career as an attorney, McKenna was a criminal investigator. From California, he is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, and earned his law degree from the University of California Davis School of Law.
Allison Murphy is chief oversight counsel for Chair Jim Clyburn (D-SC) on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Previously, she was counsel at Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. Prior to joining Protect Democracy, Murphy served as associate counsel to President Barack Obama in the Office of White House Counsel; enforcement attorney-advisor at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; counsel on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; and an associate at WilmerHale. She earned her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and B.A. from Ohio University.
Amanda Neely is general counsel to U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and deputy chief counsel on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. During the 114th Congress, she served as oversight counsel on the House Ways & Means Committee. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Neely served as deputy general counsel on the Cotton for Senate campaign. From 2011 to 2012, she clerked for then-Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit David B. Sentelle. From 2008 to 2011 and 2012 to 2014, she practiced law as an associate attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she represented clients under investigation by Congress. Neely graduated with honors from Princeton University and Duke University School of Law.
Véronique Pluviose is staff director for Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. She has also served as the committee’s general counsel and civil rights counsel. Prior to that, she served as the congressional and intergovernmental liaison at the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration. Formerly, she served as staff director of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response and as policy director for the House Committee on Homeland Security. Earlier in her career, she worked as the principal legislative counsel at the National League of Cities; as a legislative counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives focused on Judiciary Committee issues including the impeachment of President Clinton; and at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, working on civil rights issues. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York and her law degree from the University of Virginia.
DeLisa Ragsdale is chief investigative counsel for Chairman Grassley (R-IA) on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Oversight and Investigations Unit after previously serving on the same committee. She formerly served as chief investigative counsel for Chairman Grassley on the Senate Finance Committee. Before working on Capitol Hill, she practiced law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Ragsdale earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. in government and politics from the University of Texas at Dallas where she graduated summa cum laude and was a Eugene McDermott Scholar.
Justin Rood is an Investigative Correspondent at Insider and previoulsy directed the Project On Government Oversight’s Congressional Oversight Initiative, which aims to improve and enhance Congress’s ability to do effective oversight by providing information, advice and other assistance. From 2012 to 2014, Rood served under U.S. Sen. Tom A. Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) as director of investigations on homeland security matters on the Minority Staff of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. From 2009 to 2012, he worked under Coburn as senior investigator on the Minority Staff of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. There he led an investigation into domestic intelligence fusion centers, finding them “pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions,” in the words of The Washington Post’s front-page coverage. Rood also has been a non-resident fellow with Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, and an award-winning investigative producer and reporter with ABC News and other outlets. He is a graduate of Pitzer College in California.
Zachary Schram currently serves as staff director and chief counsel for Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management. Previously, he served as Senior Advisor and Investigations Counsel at the Department of State where he represented the Department in congressional investigations. He also served for nearly 9 years as counsel on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations under Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). During his tenure there, he played a key role in many of the Senate’s most significant bipartisan investigations of the last decade, covering issues as varied as credit derivatives trading, counterterrorism intelligence shortcomings, the financial crisis, money laundering, United Nations program mismanagement, and abusive lending practices.
Ray Shepherd was staff director and chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations from 2003 to 2006. During his tenure, he managed 25 hearings on topics of national and global concern including abusive tax shelters, money laundering, internet pharmacy problems, credit counseling abuses, corruption of the U.N. Oil for Food Program, container security and nuclear terrorism. Prior to that, he was oversight counsel at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and worked on inquiries into such topics as nuclear terrorism, border and port security, drug safety, telecommunications and consumer safety. Shepherd transitioned to the private sector in 2007, when he became chair of the Congressional Investigations Group at Venable LLP. He now is vice president for federal government affairs and senior counsel at Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company.
Donald K. Sherman serves as deputy director of the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Prior to joining CREW, he served as senior counsel on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Before working in the Senate, he was chief of staff and senior counsel for oversight and investigations in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. From 2011 to 2015, he served in various roles, including chief oversight counsel, on the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He began his Hill career as counsel on the House Ethics Committee. Sherman has also practiced law at Crowell & Moring and served as a law clerk to D.C. Superior Court Judge Neil Kravitz. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center
Jonathan Skladany is Chief Counsel for Oversight for Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) at the House Committee on Financial Services. At the Financial Services Committee, he works on investigations related to Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering compliance, federal rental assistance programs, and cybersecurity, among others. Prior to joining the committee in January 2019, he served for ten years at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in various oversight and policy roles, including Staff Director and Chief Policy Counsel. Before government service, he worked at a law firm in Washington, D.C. focusing on complex construction litigation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary. He earned his law degree from George Mason University.
Tim Stretton directs the Project On Government Oversight’s Congressional Oversight Initiative, which aims to improve and enhance Congress’s ability to do effective oversight by providing information, advice and other assistance. From 2013 to 2019, Stretton served under U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) as an investigator and professional staff member on the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging. There he led investigations into international scams targeting seniors, financial exploitation and elder abuse, as well as prescription drug pricing. Based on these investigations, Tim drafted several pieces of legislation that became law. Tim earned his M.A. in Diplomacy at Norwich University. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine.
John Strom is oversight and investigations counsel for Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) on the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions. Prior to joining the Committee, he was associate general counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he represented the Department and political leadership in investigations by Congress, the HHS Inspector General, Office of Special Counsel and other investigative entities. Before joining HHS, he served as senior counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Natural Resources Committee during the 115th and 116th Congress. Strom graduated undergraduate and law school from the University of South Carolina and worked as an appellate public defender before joining Congress.
Associate Professor Andy Wright joined Savannah Law School where he teaches a variety of courses in constitutional and criminal law. He joined the law faculty after serving in the White House as associate counsel to President Barack Obama, with a special focus on congressional investigations of the executive branch. Previously, Wright worked for four years on the senior staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, culminating in two years as staff director. He began his legal career as assistant counsel to Vice President Al Gore and practiced at two law firms before returning to government. He is a founding editor of the online national security forum Just Security. Wright graduated from Washington & Lee University and the University of Virginia School of Law.