U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced today that Tom Ingram, chief of staff for his Senate office and staff director for the Senate Republican Conference, will leave the Senate effective May 1 to pursue private interests.
Ingram will be succeeded as the Senate office chief of staff by David Morgenstern, currently Alexander’s legislative director, and as Conference staff director by Ryan Loskarn, currently communications director for Alexander and the Conference.
Matt Sonnesyn, currently deputy staff director for the Conference, will become the Conference's deputy staff director for policy and Alexander’s new legislative director, positioning Sonnesyn to manage all of Alexander’s policy issues and initiatives.
Patrick Jaynes, currently Alexander’s state director, will also become deputy chief of staff ensuring effective connection between Alexander’s D.C. office and six state offices, previously maintained by Ingram’s weekly commute between D.C. and Tennessee.
“I’ve done some of my best work with Tom Ingram by my side,” Alexander said. “The Senate community and I will miss having him in Washington each and every day we’re in session, but I look forward to his remaining part of my team in a different capacity and know he’ll enjoy spending more time in Tennessee. The leadership group he’s helped put together to serve in my Senate and Conference offices is capable, committed, and will do a great job for Tennessee and Senate Republicans.”
Legislative director since 2005, Morgenstern has managed Alexander’s legislative initiatives and policy staff. He has spent nine years in the Senate, previously serving as legislative assistant and counsel to Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) and legislative correspondent to Senator Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.). In addition to his experience in the Senate, Morgenstern worked full-time on three GOP congressional campaigns and was a litigation associate at Schmeltzer, Aptaker, & Shepard in D.C. and at Rudnick & Wolfe in Chicago. Morgenstern graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his J.D. from Duke University Law School in Durham, North Carolina, where he was a Neill James Blue Merit Scholar.
Communications director for Alexander’s Senate and leadership offices since 2007, Loskarn has led the Conference’s communications efforts since 2006 under former Chairman Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and current Chairman Alexander. Prior to his service in the Senate, Loskarn spent seven years in the House of Representatives as a legislative aide to Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), deputy press secretary at the House Rules Committee, and communications director for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Named one of Roll Call’s 2009 “Fabulous 50 Movers and Shakers” on Capitol Hill, Loskarn earned a B.A. in history and political science with honors from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Conference deputy staff director since January 2008, Sonnesyn has helped manage the Conference staff while serving as the office’s top leadership policy aide. Sonnesyn has spent eight years with Alexander, as legislative assistant during the senator’s chairmanship of the Africa subcommittee at the Foreign Relations Committee, and as senior advisor for development of the America Competes Act and legislation to implement the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations. He was policy director for Alexander’s 2002 campaign and U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s 2006 campaign. Prior to that he served as Alexander’s graduate research assistant at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Sonnesyn holds a B.A. in international relations from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
State director for Alexander for six years, Jaynes was field director for East Tennessee during the senator’s 2002 campaign. He has served as a sales representative for McBee Inc. in Knoxville and at Harrell Advertising in Morristown, Tennessee. Jaynes spent a decade in marketing and public relations for the Bristol-based International Hot Rod Association Motorsports, which is the sanctioning body for championship drag racing. Jaynes earned a B.S. in management at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Lorie, live in Knoxville.
“I came for six weeks in 2002, and I’m leaving with mixed emotions almost seven years later,” Ingram said. “I love the Senate and the people who form its community, but it’s time for me to graduate from this great institution and return to the private sector.”
The Alexander-Ingram relationship dates to 1974, when Ingram was press secretary in Alexander’s first bid for governor of Tennessee. Ingram then managed Alexander’s successful 1978 and 1982 elections to governor.
Ingram managed Alexander’s transitions to president of the University of Tennessee in 1988 and to U.S. secretary of education in 1990. He came to D.C. in 2002 expecting to spend six weeks helping Alexander settle into his new role as U.S. senator.
In between, Ingram has spent most of his time in the private sector as a consultant. He founded The Ingram Group, a Nashville-based consulting firm, in 1983. In addition to the election of Alexander to the U.S. senate, Ingram was instrumental in the elections of U.S. Senator Bob Corker in 2006 and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson in 1994, both Tennessee Republicans.
Ingram has been listed in Roll Call’s last three “Fabulous 50 Movers and Shakers” on Capitol Hill and is considered co-founder with Bob Russell, chief of staff to U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), of the bipartisan Senate chiefs of Staff group, which includes most of the Senate’s 100 chiefs of staff.
Ingram said more details of his private plans will be released later, but they include being a general consultant to Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam’s 2010 bid to become Tennessee’s next governor, ongoing relationships with Alexander and Corker, and representation of several corporate clients to provide strategic consulting, not lobbying. He will be based in Knoxville and split his time between D.C. and Nashville.