WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today announced the hire of a new committee staff director, along with other key positions, including a new chief of staff.
Mark Powden, who has served in Brown’s office since 2007, most recently as chief of staff since 2009, will lead committee Democrats as Staff Director. Prior to his service as chief of staff, Powden served as Brown’s senior policy advisor focusing on banking, budget, and tax. Powden has nearly three decades of experience in public service, including serving as the staff director for the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Senator Jim Jeffords.
“Mark has been an invaluable member of my office for the past eight years, and will bring a wealth of experience to his new role,” Brown said. “His leadership will serve the Senate Banking Committee well as we continue to stand up for Ohio consumers and financial institutions.”
Joining Powden in a new role on the Senate Banking Committee is Graham Steele, who has covered financial services and housing issues for Brown since 2010 and who will serve as the committee’s chief counsel. Laura Swanson, who has served on the Senate Banking Committee or one of its subcommittees since 2007, will serve as deputy staff director.
Taking the reins as Brown’s chief of staff is Sarah Benzing, who served as campaign manager for Brown’s successful 2012 re-election bid. Benzing has managed four Senate campaigns, served as chief of staff in the Office of Representative Bruce Braley (IA-01), and worked in Ohio in 2004 for America Coming Together.
“Sarah’s strong leadership and sharp instinct will serve Ohio well,” Brown said. “Having spent several years in Ohio, Sarah is passionate about our state and is committed to creating jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, and health care. I’m glad she’s agreed to rejoin our team and lend her considerable organizational skills towards making Ohio an even better place to raise a family or start a business.”