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Press assistant needed for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy's office

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT., is seeking applicants for the position of press assistant in his Washington, D.C., office. The press assistant assists the communications director with all aspects of press operations. Strong writing and organizational skills are essential, as well as the ability to work under tight deadlines. This is a full-time position requiring 40 to 45 hours per week and the salary will be commensurate with experience.


The duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Collect and distribute daily news clips to Senator and all staff. Maintain online collection of clips archives.

• Assist the communications director in preparing news releases, advisories, statements and other news-related materials. This will include drafting, editing, and proof-reading.

• Assist the communications director in scheduling radio and television interviews with state and the national media on hot topic issues. This includes working with the Senate Recording Studio and the Democratic Multimedia Center to set up Pathfire feeds and obtain broadcast quality footage.

• Disseminate the Senator’s press releases and statements by fax, email and online. Maintain email, phone number, and fax number lists for Vermont press.

• Update and maintain the Senator’s website, including but not limited to, the creation or adaptation of content, updating news releases, statements and other relevant information, posting of digital photos, production and posting of video and audio, and keep the homepage useful, updated and current.

• Assist the communications director in organizing and executing news conferences, briefings, town meetings and other media events for the Senator. Assist in the preparation of briefing materials for these events.

• Schedule monthly radio shows with state stations. Build relationships with the show hosts so scheduling becomes easier.

• Assist the communications director in responding to daily news interview and information requests from state and national news organizations. Sometimes, this will be in consultation with the Senator’s legislative staff and scheduling aides, both in the state office and in DC.

• Maintain the press office’s archive of permanent computer files and selective hard-copy files of all releases, statements, columns, speeches, transcripts, newsletters, news photographs, audio and video involving the Senator.

• Record all of the Senator’s TV appearances and catalog for archives.

• Write and send out the Senator’s monthly newsletter and any special newsletters as requested. Also, post newsletters to website.

• Update Senator’s biography to reflect his priorities, key legislation, committee changes and other significant information.

• Obtain transcripts, news articles, video and audio clips for the Senator, communications director and other staff upon request.

• Provide general support to the communications director and state staff as needed.


This position requires 40 to 45 or more hours of work per week. Because the Senate schedule is unpredictable, work hours will vary, with evening and weekend work hours sometimes required.


• Bachelor’s degree in journalism preferred.

• One year or more of experience in a congressional office.

• Ability to work well under pressure and deadlines.

• Excellent communications skills are required, including demonstrated writing skills.

• Proficiency with Microsoft Word and familiarity with HTML/web design.

• Familiarity with Lexis-Nexis and online search engines.

• Ability to work cooperatively and courteously with others; team player.

• Preference will be given to candidates from the Senator’s home state.


Qualified applicants should submit a resume, cover letter and a short writing sample to:

Ann Berry
Administrative Director
Office of Senator Patrick Leahy
Russell Senate Office Building
Room 433
Washington, D.C. 20510

References may be requested during the interview process. A writing test will be given to all applicants. 
Resumes must be submitted by close of business on June 25, 2010