WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, announced today that Mark LeDuc will serve as the Committee’s new Staff Director and Olivia Kurtz will serve as the Committee’s new Deputy Staff Director.
The Aging Committee’s previous Staff Director, Priscilla Hobson Hanley, retired in January 2016 after more than 30 years of dedicated public service as a congressional staffer. She was one of the first hires Senator Collins made after she was elected to the Senate in 1996. Priscilla helped Senator Collins found the Senate Diabetes Caucus and worked tirelessly to increase investment in biomedical research to help find a cure for diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“Priscilla exemplifies the ideal public servant; integrity, thoroughness, a spirit of inquiry, and hard work characterize her service,” said Senator Collins. “Above all, Priscilla demonstrated her belief that it is an honor to serve the people of Maine and our nation. She has been an integral member of my staff for the past 19 years and will be greatly missed. I wish her all the best on her well-deserved retirement.”
“I am delighted to announce that Mark will serve as the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s new Staff Director and Olivia as the Committee’s new Deputy Staff Director,” Senator Collins continued. “Both Mark and Olivia are exceptionally talented, dedicated members of my team who share my passion for the Committee’s vital work on aging issues. I am so grateful that they will fill these two important positions, and I know they will work hard to continue the Committee’s efforts to address the concerns of our nation’s seniors.
Mark has advised Senator Collins on budget, tax, and economic policy for more than twelve years. Mark previously served as the Majority Chief Counsel to the Aging Committee. He has also served as Minority Chief Counsel to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to coming to Washington, Mark served as Counsel to the Maine Senate President and as the head of the legislative staff for then-Governor Jock McKernan. He practiced law for many years at Preti Flaherty. A native of Topsham, Maine, Mark is a graduate of Bowdoin College, Columbia University School of Law, and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Olivia has worked for Senator Collins for more than five years, serving as her Deputy Legislative Director and as a Legislative Assistant on issues related to energy and environment policy. Prior to joining Senator Collins’ staff, she served as Legislative Director for former Representative Mike Castle (R-DE). A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Olivia is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College.
Senator Collins has made improving retirement security, increasing investment in biomedical research, and stopping fraud and financial abuse against seniors her top three priorities since becoming Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging at the beginning of the 114th Congress. The Committee is currently investigating recent instances of sudden and dramatic price increases for older drugs that are no longer protected by patents. Prescription drugs are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans, especially our nation’s seniors, 90 percent of whom take at least one prescription drug in any given month. Consequently, the cost of prescription drugs can have a significant effect on seniors’ finances.