Governor Ruth Ann Minner's appointed replacement for Senator Joe Biden, Senator-Designate Ted Kaufman, announced his key staff January 12, which will include Jeff Connaughton, a former senior staffer to Senator Joe Biden and past Clinton White House aide, as his Chief of Staff.
Senator-Designate Ted Kaufman (D-DE) announced his key staff today. In a press release, Kaufman said the appointments will include Jeff Connaughton, a former senior staffer to Senator Joe Biden and past Clinton White House aide, as his Chief of Staff; Jane Woodfin, Senator Biden's longtime Legislative Director, will be Chief Policy Adviser and Legislative Director to Sen. Kaufman; John DiEleuterio, will become Kaufman's Delaware State Director, a job he held for Senator Biden, and Alexander Snyder-Mackler, a holdover from Biden's press office, as Press Secretary.
"This is a strong staff that shares my determination to serve the best interests of Delaware, and I'm grateful that they will be joining me during this critical time for our state and nation," said Kaufman. "For over two decades, Jeff has been a part of the Biden extended family of public servants, and he and I both recognize we're picking up the mantle of a great senator in order to serve the people of Delaware. I'm also delighted that other key members of Senator Biden's excellent staff have agreed to stay and work with me."
Connaughton's Delaware roots extend back to 1987, when he left the world of corporate finance and moved to Wilmington, DE to work under Kaufman at the Biden for President campaign.
"I've known and had deep respect for Ted Kaufman for over two decades," said Connaughton. "My own career in public service was inspired by the example he set as Chief of Staff to Senator Biden and his dedication to Delaware. It's ironic that we are each now filling the shoes of a predecessor we greatly admire, but I can only hope that I'm as well prepared for my new job as Ted Kaufman is for his."
After the first Biden presidential campaign ended in 1987, Connaughton joined the Washington staff of Senator Biden and continued working with Kaufman until 1991. After attending Stanford Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1994, Connaughton clerked for Chief Judge Abner Mikva of the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. When President Clinton named Judge Mikva his White House Counsel, Connaughton joined Mikva and served as a Special Assistant to the Counsel to the President. Like Kaufman, Connaughton also has an M.B.A. degree, in his case from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Connaughton currently works at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a leading public affairs firm in Washington, DC.
Jane Woodfin is a skilled veteran of the Senate who will enable Senator Kaufman to seamlessly navigate Senate process as well as policy. She devoted the last fifteen years in service to Delawareans as Senator Biden's Legislative Director, managing his legislative staff and serving as a key adviser on domestic policy and legislative initiatives. Prior to joining Senator Biden's staff, Woodfin was Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan (1987-1993) where she counseled state agencies and the legislature, primarily on matters related to public education, and represented the state in a variety of complex litigation matters raising constitutional and other significant issues.
She also worked as a communications attorney with the Washington office of the Philadelphia-based firm of Schnader, Harrison, Segal and Lewis (1982-1986). She received a law degree, with high honors, from Georgetown University after receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland.
John DiEleuterio has been Senator Biden's State Director since 2003. He has been responsible for oversight and administration in the Delaware offices and will continue that role for Senator Kaufman. Prior to joining Senator Biden, DiEleuterio spent his career in the private sector, including nearly 30 years at the Campbell Soup Company, primarily in Human Resources.
Alex Snyder-Mackler has been Senator Biden's Delaware Press Secretary since late 2006. Before joining Senator Biden's staff, he was the Communications Director for the Delaware Democratic Party. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
"Jeff, Jane, John, and Alex understand the special opportunities they and I have been given," said Kaufman. "My only ambition is to work hard for the people of Delaware."
Kaufman will be officially sworn in as Delaware's next U.S. Senator on Friday, January 16 in the Capitol.