Congressman-elect Dusty Johnson announced the appointment of five leadership team positions on Wednesday: Andrew Christianson as Chief of Staff, Courtney Heitkamp as State Director and Communications Advisor, Darren Hedlund as Legislative Director, Chelsea Schull as State Operations Manager and Katie Murray as West River Director.
“These individuals bring a wide variety of experience and knowledge to the table,” said Congressman-elect Johnson. “I’m incredibly excited to hit the ground running on January 3 and this team will be an integral part to ensuring I serve the people of South Dakota to the best of my abilities.”
Andrew Christianson, Chief of Staff: Christianson will oversee all office operations and serve as chief policy advisor to Congressman Johnson. A Tea, S.D. native, Christianson has served as Congresswoman Noem’s Chief of Staff since 2017. Christianson also served as Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff since joining Rep. Noem’s staff in 2011.
Christianson graduated from Lennox High School and the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science. He will be based in Washington, D.C.
Courtney Heitkamp, State Director and Communications Advisor: Heitkamp will oversee constituent service efforts and community outreach strategy for all state offices, as well as advise and coordinate communications priorities. Heitkamp joins Congressman Johnson’s office after spending five years at POET, where she worked in public affairs and media relations. Heitkamp’s prior experience includes serving as Congresswoman Noem’s Press Secretary and Political Director.
Heitkamp graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D. and received her bachelor’s degree in political science and humanities from Valparaiso University. She later received her Masters of
Business Administration from the University of South Dakota. Heitkamp will be based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Darren Hedlund, Legislative Director: Hedlund will oversee Congressman Johnson’s legislative priorities and committee work. Hedlund comes from Sen. Rounds’s office where he served as Legislative Assistant.
Hedlund graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science and international studies. He later received his Master’s in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Hedlund will be based in Washington, D.C.
Chelsea Schull, State Operations Manager: Schull will oversee state scheduling and operations needs for the state offices. Schull has worked for Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) since 2013 in a variety of roles, most recently as Budget Manager and Director of Operations. She also spent time as a Field Representative for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Schull received her undergraduate degree from Washington State University and later received her Master’s in Political Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. Schull will be based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Katie Murray, West River Director: Murray will oversee constituent service and community outreach efforts for the Rapid City office. Murray previously served as West River Campaign Manager on the Dusty Johnson for Congress campaign and also served as a Constituent Services Representative for Sen. Rounds.
Murray graduated from St. Thomas More High School and later received her degree in political science and history from Black Hills State University. She will be based in Rapid City, S.D.
Congressman-elect Johnson takes his oath of office January 3, 2019 in Washington, D.C..