Press Releases

Graves Announces Senior Committee Staff for 118th Congress

Washington, D.C., January 12, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today announced the Committee’s Republican senior staff appointments for the 118th Congress.  Jack Ruddy will serve as Staff Director, Michael Falencki as Deputy Staff Director, Corey E. Cooke as General Counsel, Justin Harclerode as Communications Director, and Abby Camp Wenk as Senior Advisor and Director of Member Services and Coalitions.

“Our senior staff members all have extensive experience on the T&I Committee, serving our members and promoting an agenda to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of our Nation’s transportation infrastructure,” Graves said.  “I am extremely confident in each of their abilities and dedication to advancing the Committee’s priorities in the 118th Congress.”

Additional information about each of the senior staff appointees can be found below.

Staff Director, Jack Ruddy: Jack has served as the Staff Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans since June 2022.  Prior to that, Jack was the Committee Republicans’ Deputy Staff Director, during which time he was responsible for coordinating policy and strategy across the Committee’s jurisdiction and was deeply involved in the development of major Committee legislation, including two Water Resources Development Acts (WRDAs), two Coast Guard authorization bills, a major aircraft certification reform bill, reforms to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs, and more.  Prior to joining the Committee, Jack served as Rep. Graves’ Legislative Director for more than five years, when he worked to address the Chairman’s policy priorities in Committee legislation, including the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  He first joined the Graves office in 2011.

Deputy Staff Director, Michael Falencki: Before becoming the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Deputy Staff Director in June 2022, Michael served as Republican Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit as well as the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee.  From 2001 to 2006, Michael worked for Rep. Graves in the roles of Legislative Assistant, Legislative Director, and Deputy Chief of Staff.

General Counsel, Corey E. Cooke: Corey has served as General Counsel for the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans since January 2020, having previously served as Deputy General Counsel since 2019.  Prior to joining T&I, she was a Senior Advisor, then as Regional Administrator for the Northwest/Arctic Region at the U.S. General Services Administration from 2017 to 2019.  Corey has also served in several positions in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, including as Counsel and Deputy Parliamentarian for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Communications Director, Justin Harclerode: Justin has spent over 25 years with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, serving T&I and five Republican Chairmen and Ranking Members during that time.  He has been instrumental to T&I Republicans’ messaging strategy on many key Committee priorities and laws, including laws to authorize the FAA and aviation programs, the Nation’s highway and surface transportation programs, water resources infrastructure projects, and Coast Guard and FEMA programs.

Senior Advisor and Director of Member Services and Coalitions, Abigail Camp Wenk: Abby joined the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2019 as Director of Coalitions and Operations, before being promoted to her current role in December 2022.  Prior to her time at T&I, Abby served as Deputy Coalitions Director at the House Agriculture Committee and as Deputy Press Secretary at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).  She began her career in Rep. Graves’ office in 2015 as a Staff Assistant, then Scheduler and Press Assistant. 
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