Dana has had the rare experience of serving as a Chief of Staff in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as well as a senior level political appointee in the Executive Branch, having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Due to this unique experience of standing at the nexus of policy and politics within the senior ranks of the Legislative and Executive Branches of the federal government, he has a 360-degree view of Washington’s policy, legislative, and political landscape and a nuanced understanding of what drives decision making in Washington.
Prior to joining Mindset, Dana served as the Chief of Staff to Senator Doug Jones of Alabama. As Chief of Staff to Senator Jones, Dana stood up the Senate Office, recruited, hired, developed, and managed a staff of over forty professionals. He was a key policy and political advisor to the Senator and helped develop and push through a comprehensive legislative agenda impacting historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), financial services institutions, transit authorities, healthcare workers, and military servicemembers and their families.
For nearly eight years, during both terms of the Obama Administration, Dana served as Assistant Secretary of Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this capacity he was the top liaison for the Department of Transportation to the U.S. Congress, as well as tribal and state and local governments and coordinated the legislative activities of the Department’s modal administrations, including FHWA, FAA, FTA, FRA, and NHTSA. He also worked closely with various offices within the White House as well as other cabinet level agencies to align the legislative agenda of the Department with that of the broader Administration. As Assistant Secretary, for almost eight years, Dana served as a senior advisor to two Secretaries of Transportation, providing strategic advice and counsel on a wide range of aviation, highway, rail, and transit issues that broadly impacted governmental entities.
Dana began his career in Washington working in the U.S. House of Representatives where he worked for fourteen and a half years for three different Members of Congress. For six years, he served as Chief of Staff to his hometown Congressman, Representative Artur Davis of Alabama, a former leader of the New Democrat Coalition and a former member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Early in his career, Dana served as Legislative Director for another member of the Alabama Delegation and a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition, Representative Bud Cramer. Dana’s first job on the Hill was with Representative Eva Clayton of North Carolina, a member of the CBC.
Dana is originally from Birmingham, Alabama and is a graduate of Georgetown University.
Dana’s hidden talent: He is a DIY pro – if it needs painting, sawing, or assembling… he can get it done.