The Washington Post

Catania shakes up staff, bringing back Ben Young

D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) is shaking up his staff as he prepares to take over the all-important Education Committee in January.

Earlier this month, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) named Catania as the new chairman of the Education Committee, a post the at-large council member had lobbied for. Catania will no longer have oversight over health issues.

To help oversee the change, Catania is bringing back his former chief staff, Ben Young, to the John A. Wilson Building. Young headed up Catania’s office from December 2006 through August 2011, when he left to work for M.C. Dean, where Catania is a vice president.

“Like David, I am very excited,” Young said of his new job, which he begins next week. “Education is the number one issue in the city, and I’m looking forward to returning to the chaos of the Wilson Building.” 

Young’s return will free up Catania’s current chief staff, Jordan Hutchinson, to assume responsibility for special projects, including scrutinizing the city’s $500 million annual schools budget.

Brendan Williams-Kief, Catania’s current deputy chief of staff and communications director, will be the new committee director for the Education Committee, Young said.

Young, 36, has been an influential adviser to Catania since 2004. The former opposition researcher at the Democratic National Committee, managed Catania’s 2006 and 2010 reelection campaigns while on leave from the council.

He also played a key role in helping Catania work to keep United Medical Center afloat when its former owners defaulted on their agreement with the city.


Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.

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