Team Washington, D.C.
Chief of Staff
Don Cravins, Jr., 40, a native of Southwest Louisiana, joined Sen. Landrieu’s team in 2009 as Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In that role, Don oversaw all activities of the Committee including supervising its staff, developing policy and legislation affecting small businesses throughout America and advising Sen. Landrieu and the 19 senators who sit on the committee about issues before the committee. Since 1998, Don has been a practicing attorney. In 2004, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. At that time, he and his father, Louisiana State Senator Don Cravins, Sr., made Louisiana history by becoming the first and only father and son to serve in the Louisiana Legislature at the same time. In 2006, Don was elected to the Louisiana Senate for the seat vacated by his father, and reelected in 2008 with over 70 percent of the vote. In 2008, Don ran for Congress in the 7th Congressional District of Louisiana. In March of 2012, Don completed five months of active duty officer basic training with the United States Army. Upon completion, Don began service as a Judge Advocate with the Louisiana Army National Guard. Don graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Political Science and attended the Southern University Law Center, where he graduated with honors in 1998. Upon graduation from Law School and while studying for the Louisiana bar exam, Don served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator John Breaux. Don and his wife, Attorney Yvette Puckett Cravins, have three children: Dominique Claire (13), Trey (11) and Chloe Denise (2). The Cravins reside in Washington, DC, and Opelousas, La.
Elizabeth Leoty Craddock
A native of Delhi, Louisiana, Elizabeth (Liz) joined Senator Landrieu's office in 2006. Currently, as Legislative Director and Counsel, she coordinates the Senator’s legislative affairs; developing legislation on behalf of the Senator and providing vote recommendations. In addition, she handles campaign finance issues and ethics for the Senator. Liz’s background is in energy, environmental, agricultural and trade issues – the issues she originally worked on for the Senator. Prior to serving in Senator Landrieu's office, Elizabeth worked for U.S. Congresswoman Karen Thurman, D-Dunnellon, and Congressman Dale Kildee, D-Flint. Elizabeth received her B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida, and earned her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. She is a member of the DC bar.
Liz has family in West Monroe and Tallulah, LA. She is the proud mom of two adorable boys and married to a Texas Democrat.
Zephranie Buetow joined Senator Landrieu's office in March of 2012 and handles civil rights, second amendment, law enforcement, veterans and defense related issues. Zephranie earned B.A. in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She also earned a M.S. in Communications from Illinois State University; a M.A. in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago School of Education; and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Zephranie is veteran of the Illinois National Guard and a Chicago native.
Libby Whitbeck joined Sen. Landrieu's staff in May 2011. She handles the Senator's foreign policy and child welfare portfolio. Libby previously served as a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Landrieu. She has also worked on nutrition policy for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry under Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Libby has a B.A. in Political Science and Minors in Swahili and Business Administration at Boston University.
Clayton is a native of Baton Rouge and graudate of LSU. He joined Senator Landrieu's staff in 2011 and currently works on energy and environment issues. At LSU, he majored in Political Communications, with a minor in Business Administration.
Megan Blanco, a Bossier City native, rejoined Sen. Landrieu's team in June 2011, after serving as an intern in 2006. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with a B.A. in Political Science. Directly after graduation, Megan joined Teach For America as a 2008 South Louisiana Corps Member, teaching in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. She then served a third year as a School Board Fellow with the Leadership for Educational Equity.
Andrew is a New Iberia native and a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He joined Senator Landrieu’s team in October 2012 after interning at a top D.C. Government Affairs firm. Andrew currently works on defense, homeland security, disaster recovery, maritime, and judicial issues.
Renae Black, a Baton Rouge native, joined Senator Landrieu’s staff in October 2013 following graduation from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Renae focuses on special projects, grants, and appropriations, and also works on maritime, Jones Act, and transportation issues. She has a B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Business from Florida State University.
Matthew Lehner joined Senator Landrieu's press team in August 2010 after working as a press/staff assistant for Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.). Previously, he served in Rep. Charlie Melancon's (D-La.) office. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saint Louis University, where he studied journalism and political science. Lehner is also a professional photographer and oversees the senator's visual and multimedia.
Deputy Press Secretary
Katie Lewallen joined Sen. Landrieu's team in October 2013. Katie grew up in Shreveport, La., and first started working in politics in 2008. She graduated from Millsaps College with a degree in Political Science and a Faith and Work minor. While in college, Katie interned with Mission Africa in Lilongwe, Malawi and with the Mississippi Center for Justice, where she assisted with hurricane relief efforts. Before joining Sen. Landrieu's office, Katie served Sen. Harry Reid as the Nevada Deputy Press Secretary.
Office Manager / Executive Assistant
Alicia Williams is originally from Grambling, Louisiana. She is a 1983 graduate of Grambling State University and a life member of the Grambling University National Alumni Association. She also is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Senate Black Legislative Caucus and the African American on the Hill Network. Before joining Senator Landrieu's Washington staff, she was Deputy Campaign Manager during the 1996 election. Williams also has worked 10 years for former U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston as staff assistant, systems administrator, projects assistant and projects manager; and for former Lt. Governor Melinda Schwegmann as her executive assistant. She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.
Assistant to the Legislative Director
Kristen Granier joined Senator Landrieu's staff in May 2010. She is currently the assistant to the Legislative Director. Kristen was previously a staff assistant and tour coordinator for Senator Landrieu's DC office and interned in the Senator's Baton Rouge office in 2009. Kristen is a native of Brusly, Louisiana and studied International Management at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Executive Assistant to Sen. Landrieu
Alexander Sewell, a Chicago-native, joined Senator Landrieu’s D.C. office in July 2012. Prior to serving in Senator Landrieu’s office, Alexander worked as a Special Assistant in the Obama Administration. Alexander started his career in government with internships in the offices of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Alexander graduated from Roosevelt University with a B.A. in Political Science in 2011.
Marianna Knister, a New Orleans native, first joined Senator Landrieu’s team in August 2012 as an intern in the Baton Rouge office. After graduating from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in Mass Communication, Marianna joined the Senator’s Washington D.C. team in April 2013. As a member of the Senator’s scheduling team, Marianna helps coordinate the Senator’s day to day schedule. As the Senator’s Tour Coordinator, she helps coordinate constituent visits to Washington, D.C.
Alyson Williams Azodeh
Alyson Williams Azodeh is from Grambling, Louisiana and graduated from the Louisiana State School for the Deaf and Delgado Community College. Before joining the staff of Senator Landrieu, she worked for Former Senator J. Bennett Johnston for 8 years. Areas of responsibility include maintaining office files and input data from outgoing mail. Azodeh is currently a member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Maryland.
Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Jaren Hill joined Senator Landrieu's D.C. team in October 2011. Prior to serving in Senator Landrieu's office, she worked for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s non-voting member. Jaren graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2009 with a degree in Mass Communications. She is also a member of the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus.
Staff Assistant/Tour Coordinator
DerKirra Wilkerson, a native of Ferriday, first joined Senator Landrieu's team in 2010. She served as a staff assistant in the Baton Rouge office before coming to Washington, D.C. to assume the position of tour coordinator. She graduated from Southern University and A&M College in 2002 with a B.S. in Rehabilitation Services. She later earned her M.P.A. from Grambling University before returning to Southern to participate in the Ph.D. program of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.