Hometown: North Hampton, Mass.
Position: Press secretary for both the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its chairman, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. She was promoted to the post after being made the committee's first digital director just weeks ago.
Alma mater: Bachelor's degree, Trinity College in Connecticut, with a major in political science and minor in philosophy
The Environment and Public Works Committee is getting a social media makeover with the addition of the Republicans' first digital director.
Daisy Letendre has been with the environment committee for a year and a half, but recently moved into the director position as an integral part of the panel's communications staff.
And only days after speaking with the Washington Examiner just ahead of the July 4 holiday, she was promoted again to press secretary.
Her experience in Washington, however, didn't begin on Capitol Hill. That came later.
One of her first jobs was as communications associate with the free-market-oriented Generation Opportunity. She worked for about a year on campaigns that included pushing back against regulations affecting the craft beer industry.
She has little background on energy and environment issues that the committee tackles, including one of the biggest targets for the Republican majority: the many rules and regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency.
But she is a quick study. As digital director she became one of the lead writers working with Chairman Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., in penning his op-eds, while working to make sure Oklahoma constituents are up to date on the committee's oversight agenda via Facebook.
Washington Examiner: What kinds of issues did you touch on when you worked for Generation Opportunity?
Letendre: We had some cool campaigns. One of them was "Free the Brews," working on trying to push back against regulations affecting the craft beer industry. And then we also do Export-Import Bank and higher education reform. So, this wide portfolio of stuff. No environmental stuff.
Examiner: What was your transition like going from microbrew advocacy to working for the Senate's top environment committee?
Letendre: The portfolio of issues is definitely new for me coming to the committee. Because I never touched energy and environment stuff, or the transportation and infrastructure piece either. So, it was new for me. But it's communications. It's knowing how to effectively sell the policies that either your organization is putting out or Sen. Inhofe is putting out.
Examiner: What issues are you most interested in?
Letendre: One thing I have learned since working for the committee is how much authority the current administration has granted to the EPA in terms of regulatory authority. Like the Clean Power Plan. It has such broad reach that affects so many Americans in so many intricate ways that I think the American public outside the Beltway might not be as educated on.
Examiner: How does being the digital director intersect with the need to educate the average American voter on EPA regulations?
Letendre: It's interesting because we have the Inhofe angle and we have the broader committee angle. And one of the ways we have brought these issues home to our Oklahoma constituents is by doing a Facebook livestream of a hearing. And we get all sorts of positive feedback saying this is "great," or "we didn't know this issue was really affecting us" or "thank you for bringing this transparency home to us in Oklahoma."
Part of it is effectively using tools to communicate — not even like an agenda — but communicate what's happening in the committee in Washington through social media.
One of things I also do is write the op-eds that go out under Chairman Inhofe. We just had a piece by Chairman Inhofe in the Examiner today ... So, I work with the [communications] team and the senator on things like that. And that's one way to get the message out, and social media is another way.
Examiner: What do you like doing in your down time?
Letendre: I actually coach swimming for the D.C. Triathlon Club. I love the D.C. Tri Club. I compete in running races and triathlons as well, which is sort of a hobby.
I have a new kitten. So, I am officially a cat lady. And I actually write for one of my friend's baseball blogs, too, in my free time. And I go to a lot of Nats games.
Examiner: So you're a baseball fan?
Letendre: A huge baseball fan! I consider myself a part-time Nats fan and a full-time Red Sox. It's hard not to love the Nats when they're this good, and the stadium is so accessible.