News Flash:Trey Gowdy names A Benghazi panel director

Trey Gowdy

The chairman of the House select committee on Benghazi announced his first high-profile hire for the week-old panel on Thursday, tapping a former House general counsel as staff director.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) selected Smith-Free Group vice chairman Phil Kiko to be the majority staff director for the committee.

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“He has a proven record of effective leadership and management, and I am pleased to have him on our team as we conduct a serious, fact-driven investigation to ensure our fellow Americans know the full truth about what happened in Benghazi,” Gowdy said in a statement.

Kiko first came to Capitol Hill in 1997 as a senior member of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s (R-Wis.) staff. He stayed a decade and then moved to Foley and Lardner, a Milwaukee-based law firm, where he remained until 2010. In December 2010, after House Republicans took the majority, Kiko became staff director at the House Administration Committee under Chairman Dan Lungren of California. After Lungren lost in 2012, Kiko joined the Smith-Free Group, a lobbying firm, where he represented entities like Mastercard, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Entertainment Software Association.

He also worked as an associate legal counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised Kiko as a “man of unquestioned integrity.”

“His appointment today is further proof of Chairman Gowdy’s commitment to an investigation that is serious, fact-based, and professional. The American people deserve the full truth about what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and there is no better person to help lead this effort than Phil,” Boehner said.

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