Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced her staff leadership for the 110th Congress.

  • Peter Cleveland, Chief of Staff

  • Christopher Thompson, Legislative Director

  • Howard Gantman, Staff Director, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

  • Jennifer Duck, Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security

  • Scott Gerber, Communications Director

Following is Senator Feinstein’s statement:


“I am sad to announce that Mark Kadesh, after serving as my Chief of Staff for seven years, has moved on to become a partner at Bartlett, Bendall, and Kadesh. Seldom have I come across someone who has both book smarts and street smarts. Mark is a fine person, who I have no doubt will do well as he moves on. I wish him great good luck. He will be missed.

“At the same time, I’m pleased to announce that we will keep a strong team in place. This is a team of experience and continuity, and I look forward to working with them to help the people of California.

Heading the team is Peter Cleveland, who is my new Chief of Staff. Peter has 15 years of hill experience including three as my legislative director and a dozen in various capacities for Senator Chuck Robb. He has deep expertise in foreign affairs, Senate rules and procedures, and entitlements. I am confident that he will be a steady hand for my offices in Washington and in California.”

“Chris Thompson is my new Legislative Director. He has worked for me for four years, and four years prior to that for Representative Julian Dixon. He is tough and savvy, and he has a firm grasp on the wide range of issues facing California. He led efforts to secure funding for California levees, keep agriculture strong, and rebuild our State’s infrastructure. He will bring this tenacity to his new role managing my legislative agenda.

“Howard Gantman has been my Communications Director for eight years, where he served with distinction. Now he moves on to become the Staff Director of the Rules Committee. This is a critical time for the Committee, and I am hopeful we can pass major ethics, lobby, and earmark reform, as well as reform of our nation’s electronic voting system. It is a robust agenda and a critical one. Howard is the right person for this job.”


“Jennifer Duck brings both broad and deep experience to the role of my Chief Counsel. This year, we will fight for a gang bill, privacy reforms, and to maintain FISA as the exclusive authority for domestic wiretapping. Jennifer has my confidence in working to see that this legislation is approved.”

“And finally, Scott Gerber moves from Press Secretary to Communications Director. He will continue to serve ably and ensure strong relations with the press corps.”

Following are brief biographies of Senator Feinstein’s staff:

Peter Cleveland, Chief of Staff -- Peter Cleveland has worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years. He has served as Senator Feinstein's Legislative Director since mid-2004, where he oversaw the Senator’s broad legislative portfolio. Prior to that, Peter was a professional staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees focusing on China and East Asia issues. Mr. Cleveland has also worked as a corporate finance attorney at a Washington, DC law firm. He received his BA degree from Columbia University and JD from Georgetown University.

Christopher Thompson, Legislative Director -- Christopher Thompson has more than eight years of experience on Capitol Hill. For the past four years he has served as Senator Feinstein's principal Appropriations staffer. In that capacity, he advised the Senator on the broad range of issues that come before that Committee. Originally from Culver City, California, Christopher Thompson got his start on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant with his hometown Congressman, the late Julian C. Dixon. He majored in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Howard Gantman, Staff Director, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration -- For the past eight years, Howard Gantman served as Senator Feinstein’s Director of Communications, a time when the Senator played a major role in a range of serious issues confronting our nation, including the wars in Iraq and Kosovo, the aftermath of 9/11, and the Presidential impeachment proceedings. Before joining Senator Feinstein’s office, Howard was West Coast Director of Government Affairs for the Kamber Group, served as Assistant Chief of Staff to L.A. City Councilman Mike Feuer and as Chief Legislative Deputy and Communications Director for L.A. City Councilwoman Rita Walters. He also worked for nearly a decade as a reporter covering state and local politics and the criminal courts in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Kenyon College.

Jennifer Duck, Chief Counsel -- Jennifer Duck has been with Senator Feinstein since 2005 on the Judiciary Committee, where she handles intellectual property, telecom, tort reform issues, and supreme court nominations. Previously, Jennifer served as Counsel for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), advising him on judicial nominations, election reform, asbestos, genetic discrimination, immigration, medical malpractice, class action reform, hate crimes, and civil rights issues. For two years, Jennifer served in the Clinton Administration Department of Labor. She also worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) on the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee. Jennifer is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and earned her law degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Scott Gerber, Communications Director – Scott Gerber has served in Senator Feinstein’s press office for the past seven years, as Press Secretary and Deputy Press Secretary. In this capacity, he has written op-eds, news releases, and speeches, served as an on the record spokesman, and provided strategic communications advice. Prior to joining Senator Feinstein’s office, Scott worked as an Account Executive for Solem & Associates, a Bay Area public affairs firm, and on a local land use campaign for Stanford University. He majored in English and political science at Stanford.