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Jayapal Appoints Lilah Pomerance as Chief of Staff

Interim Chief of Staff Rachel Berkson will become the Deputy Chief of Staff while also returning to her previous role as District Director in Seattle

SEATTLE — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced today that Lilah Pomerance will become her new Chief of Staff in Washington, DC. Interim Chief of Staff Rachel Berkson will become the Deputy Chief of Staff while also returning to her previous role as District Director. 

“As we look towards a new administration, it is time for us to deliver on a bold, transformative agenda that takes on the crises we face and makes a real impact in the lives of everyone across America. This change will take a coordinated movement that organizes on the inside and outside to fight for robust COVID-19 relief, guaranteed health care, humane immigration reform, racial justice and climate action,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “I’m elated that Lilah will bring her wealth of experience working throughout Capitol Hill and with key outside partners to our office. She is not only highly respected at every level of government but she has the organizing mindset and core progressive values that we need to fully capitalize on this governing moment.”

“As a lifelong organizer, Representative Jayapal knows that lasting change comes from building a people-first movement that brings the voices of outside activists and advocacy groups to the halls of power,” said Pomerance. “With so much at stake, I’m looking forward to organizing alongside her on Capitol Hill, across the district and throughout the country, so we can deliver on a progressive agenda that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives. I’m honored to join her team as she continues to lead the progressive movement inside and outside of Congress.”

Berkson has served as Interim Chief of Staff since August. Prior to this, she served as District Director since Representative Jayapal first came to Congress in 2017. She has also worked as the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and as the executive director of the SEIU Washington State Council. 

“I want to thank Rachel for her incredible service as interim Chief of Staff during a pivotal moment,” said Jayapal. “She has helped lead our team since the day we came to Congress, and I’m excited that she will continue to do so as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director.”

Pomerance previously worked as the Chief of Campaigns at the Center for Popular Democracy. It was there that she led a department focused on executing issue campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. She also helped build the organization’s federal advocacy program that connected the national organization to its 50 affiliates across 34 states. From 2009 to 2017, Pomerance served in several senior roles — including Acting Political Director, Deputy Director of Government Relations and 2020 Director — at SEIU. She managed the intergovernmental affairs team that built relationships and programs with elected officials at the local, state and national levels. A key element of Pomerance’s work at SEIU was helping to create and lead a national program to influence federal policy outcomes by mobilizing members and utilizing innovative organizing tools. Prior to joining SEIU, Pomerance worked in the Office of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and on two presidential campaigns. 

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