Meet the instructors

Each boot camp is taught by four instructors, two Democrats and two Republicans who are former or current congressional investigators with years of experience. All of the instructors below have led one or more oversight boot camps.

Elise Bean

From 1985 to 2014, Elise Bean worked for Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), including 15 years at the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Appointed as his PSI staff director and chief counsel in 2003, Bean handled investigations, hearings and legislation, including matters involving money laundering, offshore tax abuse, corruption, corporate misconduct and shell companies. After Levin retired in 2015, and the Levin Center at Wayne Law was established in his honor, Bean joined the center's efforts to strengthen legislative capacities at the national, state, local and international levels to conduct oversight investigations.

In 2015 and 2016, Bean was included in the Global Tax 50, a list compiled by the International Tax Review of the year's top 50 individuals and organizations influencing tax policy and practice. In 2011 and 2013, the Washingtonian magazine named her one of Washington's 100 most powerful women. In 2010, the National Law Journal selected her as one of Washington's most influential women lawyers. Bean is a graduate of Wesleyan University and earned her law degree from the University of Michigan.

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Justin Rood directs the Project On Government Oversight's Congressional Oversight Initiative, which aims to improve and enhance Congress's ability to do effective oversight by providing information, advice and other assistance.

From 2012 to 2014, Rood served under U.S. Sen. Tom A. Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) as director of investigations on homeland security matters on the Minority Staff of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. From 2009 to 2012, he worked under Coburn as senior investigator on the Minority Staff of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. There he led an investigation into domestic intelligence fusion centers, finding them "pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions," in the words of The Washington Post's front-page coverage. Rood also has been a non-resident fellow with Yale Law School's Information Society Project, and an award-winning investigative producer and reporter with ABC News and other outlets. He is a graduate of Pitzer College in California.

Mohammad Aslami

Mohammad Aslami is deputy chief of staff for the Colorado House Majority Office. From 2014 to 2017, he served a political appointment with the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Energy. At the Department of Energy, he worked in the Office of the General Counsel and Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, where he advised department officials in responding to congressional oversight and investigation requests, and helped prepare senior officials for congressional hearings. Previously, Aslami worked for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Before government service, he was an attorney for a think tank in Washington, D.C., focusing on post-conflict natural resource management issues. Aslami earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado.  He earned his law degree and two master's degrees from Syracuse University.

Jen Barblan photo

Jen Barblan is chief counsel for oversight and investigations for Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She previously was counsel at the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and prior to that was senior counsel at the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Barblan has led investigations into numerous topics, including opioid distribution, the substance use treatment industry, sexual abuse in organized sport, cybersecurity practices, the security clearance process, and small business contracting fraud, and, as chief counsel, directed more than 25 oversight hearings. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Barblan practiced law in the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP. She earned her bachelor's degree and law degree from the University of Virginia.

Katie Bailey Katie Bailey is director of governmental affairs for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she was staff director of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, under Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). Bailey previously was vice president of Access Group Inc. (now AccessLex); director of government affairs and a personal office legislative assistant under U.S. Sen. Tom A. Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) on the HSGAC; vice president of the Education Finance Council; and legislative assistant on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce under Chairman John Boehner (R-OH). Bailey earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia and her master's degree from Baylor University's J.M. Dawson Institute. 
Portia Bamiduro

Portia Bamiduro is chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. She previously worked for Carper on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she was senior counsel for Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. During her time on the Hill, she has handled oversight investigations on a wide range of issues, including compliance with the Federal Records Act, Hatch Act, ethics disclosure laws, the IRS review of applications for tax-exempt status, the Waters of the United States rulemaking process, and the online purchase and shipment of illicit opioids via the mail system. Prior to working on the Hill, Bamiduro worked for nearly six years at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division where she investigated and prosecuted international price-fixing and bid-rigging cartels, and other white-collar crime. She earned her bachelor's from the University of Richmond and her law degree from American University's Washington College of Law.

Machalagh Carr Machalagh Carr serves under Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) as oversight staff director for the House Committee on Ways and Means. She previously was director of oversight and investigations at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and prior to that was senior counsel of oversight and investigations for the House Committee on Natural Resources. Carr has handled investigations of private companies as well as government agencies. She has conducted interviews and depositions, hearings, drafted legislation, worked closely with whistleblowers on issues ranging from the Endangered Species Act to Civil Asset Forfeiture, and constitutional issues arising out of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, she served as counsel in the Office of Global Compliance of an international energy company. From 2006 to 2009 she practiced in the Litigation, White Collar and Government Investigations Group at Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons). She taught trial practice at Catholic University's Columbus School of Law.
Margaret Daum

Margaret Daum is staff director for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she was staff director and chief counsel for McCaskill on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Since 2009, she has directed more than 40 oversight hearings for McCaskill, including on police militarization, POW-MIAs, National Guard, Arlington National Cemetery, whistleblowers, sexual assault and counter-narcotics contracts in Central and South America. From 2005 to 2009, Daum was counsel to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to joining the House Committee, she was an associate at the New York office of the law firm of White & Case LLP. She earned her bachelor's degree from Columbia College and her law degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Andy Dockham

Andy Dockham is staff director and chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He previously worked for U.S. Sen. Tom A. Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) from 2010 to 2015, including as his counsel on PSI. During that time, he led investigations of several federal benefit programs, including a bipartisan investigation detailing a conspiracy by legal and medical professionals to award $550 million in disability benefits based on fraudulent medical records. During the 114th Congress, Dockham was general counsel of the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Dockham was an associate at the law firm of Crowell & Moring in Washington, D.C.  He earned his bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

 

Mark Greenblatt Mark Greenblatt has been nominated to serve as inspector general for the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM). The EXIM IG is responsible for conducting independent audits, investigations, and evaluations of operations and providing objective information to promote integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness in EXIM's management, decision-making and accountability. He currently is assistant inspector general for investigations at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In that capacity, he runs the IG's investigations division, which includes leading a staff of approximately 40 investigators in four offices around the country and supervises a docket of roughly 130 criminal and administrative investigations. He also was deputy assistant IG for compliance and ethics, and director of special investigations. He has worked for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations as the deputy chief counsel and later minority staff director and chief counsel. He earned his degrees from Duke University and Columbia University Law School.
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Steven Groves is assistant special counsel to the president, representing the Executive Office of the President in regard to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Prior to that, he was chief of staff to Ambassador Nikki Haley at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. On Capitol Hill, Groves was senior counsel to U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations where he led the subcommittee's investigation of the "oil-for-food" scandal, the most extensive congressional probe ever conducted of the United Nations. Groves also has been a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, an associate at Boies Schiller Flexner and assistant attorney general for the state of Florida.

 

Chris Lucas

Chris Lucas is director of global government affairs for BNY Mellon. Prior to BNY Mellon, he was legislative counsel for U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) covering the Banking Committee as well as tax, trade, agriculture and small business issues. Lucas also has served as investigative counsel to Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as counsel to U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee where he covered banking and Small Business Administration lending. Lucas has worked on local, city, state, and federal campaigns, as a legislative assistant for the Monroe County Legislature in Rochester, New York, and as a legal assistant to the Special Victims and Rackets Divisions of the Kings County District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn. He earned his bachelor's from the University of Rochester and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Zachary Schram Zachary Schram currently serves as staff director and chief counsel for Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management. Previously, he served as Senior Advisor and Investigations Counsel at the Department of State where he represented the Department in congressional investigations. He also served for nearly 9 years as counsel on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations under Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). During his tenure there, he played a key role in many of the Senate's most significant bipartisan investigations of the last decade, covering issues as varied as credit derivatives trading, counterterrorism intelligence shortcomings, the financial crisis, money laundering, United Nations program mismanagement, and abusive lending practices.

Jim Secreto is chief counsel of the Senate Democratic Policy and Communication Committee, where he advises the Senate Democratic Caucus on oversight, investigations and the confirmation process for presidential appointees. Previously, he was chief investigative counsel for the minority of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, deputy associate counsel to the president at the White House Counsel's Office and senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy. Secreto is a graduate of Georgetown Law, the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Michigan.

Ray Shepherd Ray Shepherd was staff director and chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations from 2003 to 2006. During his tenure, he managed 25 hearings on topics of national and global concern including abusive tax shelters, money laundering, internet pharmacy problems, credit counseling abuses, corruption of the U.N. Oil for Food Program, container security and nuclear terrorism. Prior to that, he was oversight counsel at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and worked on inquiries into such topics as nuclear terrorism, border and port security, drug safety, telecommunications and consumer safety. Shepherd transitioned to the private sector in 2007, when he became chair of the Congressional Investigations Group at Venable LLP. He now is vice president for federal government affairs and senior counsel at Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company.
Andrew McCanse Wright

Associate Professor Andy Wright joined Savannah Law School where he teaches a variety of courses in constitutional and criminal law. He joined the law faculty after serving in the White House as associate counsel to President Barack Obama, with a special focus on congressional investigations of the executive branch. Previously, Wright worked for four years on the senior staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, culminating in two years as staff director. He began his legal career as assistant counsel to Vice President Al Gore and practiced at two law firms before returning to government. He is a founding editor of the online national security forum Just Security. Wright graduated from Washington & Lee University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

 

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