A week into his tenure on Capitol Hill, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., fleshed out his senior staff, announcing a number of hires on Monday.
Having already named Jackie Schutz Zeckman as Chief of Staff, Scott added to his team on Monday.
Craig Carbone will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff, Chris Hartline will serve as Communications Director, Leda Williams Kelly will serve as State Director, Paul Bonicelli, Collin Lomagistro, and Christine Diaz will serve as Senior Policy Advisors.
“I’m thrilled to announce such a strong group joining my staff to help fight for Florida families and ‘Make Washington Work,’” Scott said. “Their experience and their energy will be invaluable to me as I begin the process of representing Florida in the United States Senate. We look forward to hitting the ground running and fixing problems for the people of Florida.”
Scott’s office provided biographies on the new staffers:
Craig Carbone will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff. Most recently, he served as Political Director for Rick Scott’s successful U.S. Senate Campaign. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Executive Office of the Governor, where his responsibilities included acting as a liaison with federal agencies and the White House. He started with the State of Florida in 2015, and served as the Director of Appointments and Deputy Policy Director. Carbone received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and Master’s in Public Administration from Florida International University.
Chris Hartline will serve as Communications Director. Most recently, he served as a Spokesman for Rick Scott’s successful U.S. Senate Campaign. Prior to that, he served as Communications Director for Diane Black’s Gubernatorial Campaign in Tennessee, and Press Secretary and Communications Director for the House Budget Committee under Chairman Diane Black. In that role, he led communications efforts during the House of Representative’s successful repeal of Obamacare and the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution, which paved the way for historic tax reform. He also served as Director of Federal Affairs for the State of Florida and a variety of other communications roles in government and on campaigns.
Leda Williams Kelly will serve as State Director and previously served as the Director of External Affairs for Rick Scott’s successful U.S. Senate campaign. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Director of External Affairs for Governor Scott. Leda was also the Director of Operations for Governor Scott’s successful 2014 reelection campaign. Leda began working in the Governor’s Office in 2012 and served as the event lead and liaison for the communications office and external affairs. Previously, she served as the Associate Director of External Affairs for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Prior to moving to Florida, Leda worked with the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Louisiana. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University Agricultural and Mechanical College.
The Honorable Paul J. Bonicelli will serve as a Senior Policy Advisor focused on Armed Services and Foreign Policy issues. He served in President George W. Bush’s administration as Assistant Administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He served as a professional staff member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. He has served as provost, executive vice president, and dean of three colleges and universities, and as a professor of politics and international relations. Dr. Bonicelli holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.
Christine M. Diaz will serve as a Senior Policy Advisor focused on Homeland Security issues. She joined Senator Rick Scott’s team in 2014 working for his reelection campaign. After joining the Governor’s administration, she served as the Governor’s South Florida Regional Director and then the Governor’s Washington D.C. Director. Prior to joining Governor Scott’s team, Christine Diaz was a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, Christine Diaz served as a member of George W. Bush’s administration from 2005-2009 at the Department of Homeland Security. Christine Diaz is a graduate of Florida International University and a native of South Florida and currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Collin Lomagistro will serve as a Senior Policy Advisor focused on Commerce. He served as the Florida Finance Director for Rick Scott’s successful U.S. Senate campaign. Prior to that, he served as Governor Rick Scott’s Director of Appointments and Deputy Legislative Affairs Director in the Executive Office of the Governor. He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his Master’s in Business Administration from Florida International University.
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