Chairman Xavier Becerra Announces Senior Staff for the House Democratic Caucus

January 28, 2013

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Xavier Becerra (CA-34) released the following statement announcing that Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli will serve as the Executive Director, Sean McCluskie as the Policy Director and James Gleeson as the Communications Director of the House Democratic Caucus. This team of Directors will be overseen by Chairman Becerra’s long-time Chief of Staff, Debra Dixon.

“Success is built upon a strong foundation. I’m proud to announce that the foundation for the House Democratic Caucus is set,” Chairman Becerra said. “The commitment of this team and their dedication to the success of the Democratic Caucus will reinforce the unity of our members to fight for a stronger America, to grow our economy and to rebuild the middle class.”

Chief of Staff

Debra Dixon has served as chief of staff to Congressman Xavier Becerra since 2005, with oversight of the Capital, District and leadership offices. She first joined Congressman Becerra’s team as counsel to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus under his chairmanship in the 105th Congress, and was responsible for issues relating to immigration, economic development, and the federal budget. Sharing Chairman Becerra’s commitment to working families, our country’s fiscal health and comprehensive immigration reform, Debra’s subsequent roles in the office have included legislative director from 1998-2005, and serving as trade counsel from 1998 until just recently.

Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Debra was a U.S. Department of Justice attorney for 7 1/2 years, starting as a law clerk in the Chicago Immigration Court as part of the Attorney General’s Honor Graduate Program, and leaving DOJ as a Senior Attorney Advisor at the Board of Immigration Appeals.

A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, Debra earned a law degree from the Ohio State University and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Patrick Burton and their two daughters.

Executive Director

Fabiola Rodríguez-Ciampoli served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State from August 2010 forward, after serving as senior advisor in that Bureau.

Fabiola previously served as communications director for the office of the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Representative Xavier Becerra. She also led media efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters as Director of Hispanic Communications for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007-2008 and for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004. Her past positions include Director of Hispanic Media for the Senate Democratic Communications Center and Director of Specialty Media for the Democratic National Committee.

Fabiola has more than 20 years of experience in communications, public affairs and public relations in the United States and Mexico. She earned a Masters of Arts in Public Communication at American University, sponsored by a Fulbright Scholarship, and a B.A. in Communications from Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City.

Fabiola lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Paul Ciampoli and their son.

Policy Director

Sean McCluskie has held several positions in Congressman Becerra’s leadership and congressional offices since 2007. In those roles, he led staff negotiations on behalf of the Congressman for the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Previously, Sean held numerous health care policy and management positions in the private sector and government. Most recently, Sean was the Director of Policy Operations at the Marwood Group where he managed Medicare, Medicaid and Food and Drug Administration research teams that provided strategic and tactical advice for investment firms on the potential political risk for investments in all health care sectors. Beforehand, Sean was a Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Pete Stark where he was instrumental in aiding the passage of the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006 and requesting a Government Accountability Report that found thousands of families were being forced to give up custody of their children who suffered from Serious Emotional Disturbance so that those children could receive health care services. Sean has also worked in various capacities for Senator Bob Graham, the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Administration.

Sean earned his Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1997 and his J.D. from The George Washington University in 2003.

Communications Director

James Gleeson has served as Communications Director for Congressman Becerra since 2011, previously serving as Press Secretary and Legislative Researcher in the Office of the Vice Chair. With oversight of communications in the leadership and congressional offices, James led the messaging efforts during the Congressman’s time as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, as a member of The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Before working on Capitol Hill, James was an Account Manager and Research Associate at IRN, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. Prior to that he served in the Colorado State House as the Legislative Aide to Majority Caucus Leader Michael Cerbo, and as a Policy Strategist for the Autism Society of Colorado.

James earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2005. He lives in Washington, DC with his fiancée Kelly Berens.