U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has announced the hire of Karina Waller as her new state director. She will replace Steve Wackowski at the end of next month as he transitions to the private sector. The senator also announced some other key additions and promotions in her office.
“Although I’m sad to lose Steve, I’m very pleased that Karina will be joining the team as my new State Director,” Murkowski said. “Steve has been a rock for my office and I wish him and his family the best. He will continue to serve Alaska in the Air Force Reserve as he moves to the private sector, while Karina will provide for a seamless transition. She brings a wealth of state and federal knowledge and connections and will be a valuable asset for my office and Alaskans from day one.”
Karina Michael Waller, a second-generation Alaskan, will leave her role as executive director of the Ted Stevens Foundation in Anchorage. She received her joint Juris Doctor/Master in International Affairs from the Washington College of Law at American University and began her career working as a Legislative Assistant for Sen. Stevens in Washington, D.C. in 2002. She later went on to become his legislative director and deputy chief of staff.
Additional Staff Hires:
Grace Kubitz joins the Washington DC office as a legislative assistant for Rural and Community Development. Born and raised in Anchorage, she holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Sustainability from the University of Michigan.
Prior to joining Murkowski’s office, Grace spent several years serving as a staff member legislators, most recently for Rep. Zack Fields, a far-left Anchorage Democrat member of the Alaska State Legislature. She worked in government, policy, and business development most recently with NANA Regional Corporation as their external affairs manager.
Jesse Oney joins Murkowski’s DC office as the assistant to chief of staff and deputy scheduler. He began his career six years ago in Murkowski’s DC Office as an Intern. He went back to Alaska to serve as a field director on Senator Dan Sullivan’s 2020 reelection campaign and returned to Capitol Hill to work as Sen. Sullivan’s Staff Assistant. In 2022, he moved back to Alaska to work as the director of grassroots on Sen. Murkowski’s reelection campaign. He returned to DC in January, 2023, where he worked as a legislative correspondent on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs where Murkowski serves as vice chairman.
Julia Colver joins Murkowski’s DC office as a new staff assistant. From Palmer, she has a BA in International Studies and an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She studied Russian language at Turan University in Kazakhstan. Previously she worked as a fundraising intern for Papillon Academy, an international NGO based in Paris seeking to increase female access to civics education. Additionally, she briefly worked for Murkowski’s office as an intern, assisting with defense and foreign affairs policy.
Matthew Jones was promoted to legislative correspondent after previously working as a staff assistant. He previously worked on Murkowski’s 2022 reelection campaign. He attended Marquette University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Jones was born and raised in Eagle River.
Noah Nosek was promoted to legislative correspondent after joining Murkowski’s DC office as a staff assistant in July. From Anchorage, he graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. During his time at university, he worked for the Forest Service as a biological technician focusing on invasive species mitigation.