Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the statement below announcing new changes in Committee leadership following last night’s Senate confirmation of former Staff Director Erin Conaton as Under Secretary of the Air Force and former General Counsel Paul Oostburg Sanz as General Counsel to the U.S. Navy :

 “I am so proud of Erin and Paul, and I know that both of them will be outstanding in their new roles. As two of my most trusted advisors, Erin and Paul have played a critical role in our day-to-day operations, and we will miss them both. Although they will no longer be a part of the Committee’s staff, they will always be a part of the HASC family. I wish them all the best as they take on their next challenges.


“Although we are sad to see Erin leave, I am pleased to announce our new staff leadership, effective immediately. Paul Arcangeli, who has been with us since 2004—most recently as our Deputy Staff Director—will serve as the new Staff Director of the Committee. I have come to know Paul well over the course of many years, since his time as an officer in the U.S. Army.  Paul has consistently demonstrated his ability to lead, and his dedication to our men and women in uniform is unparalleled. He is a trusted friend and advisor and an expert on national security issues, and I have no doubt that he will succeed in his new role, taking our Committee to new heights.


“Succeeding Paul as the Deputy Staff Director is Debra Wada, who has provided us with invaluable knowledge, leadership, and initiative for more than a decade, including in her most recent role as Lead Staffer for the Military Personnel Subcommittee.  Debra has a deep understanding of what makes this Committee tick and an impressive knowledge of our nation’s military, and she will undoubtedly be able to fill Paul’s shoes in her new role.


“I am also excited to announce the return of Paul Lewis from his current role as Director of the DOD’s Office of Legislative Counsel to replace Paul Ooostburg Sanz. Paul Lewis has a broad range of legal experience and expertise, beginning with his time as a Judge Advocate General in the Marine Corps and spanning through a career as a prosecutor in Manhattan and an attorney at the Department of Justice. He also has a decade of experience as counsel on Capitol Hill, part of which was spent on our Committee. I saw first-hand Paul’s outstanding performance as counsel on the HASC, and I look forward to having him back.


“Having worked with Paul Arcangeli, Debra Wada, and Paul Lewis in the past, I am confident they will continue to provide the great leadership that they have shown during their time on the Committee. I know that their experience working both on the HASC and in Congress will help enormously during this transition.”