Capitol Hill Staff

These individuals are at the helm of forming the policy and legislation for our Nation. Working on Capitol Hill gives a great deal of responsibility and power needed to address many of the problems and challenges that veterans, and our nation, face on a day-to-day basis. The influence that these few have in bringing legitimate change to the veteran community is unparalleled, and their ability to understand the issues and facilitate necessary debate and discussion is recognized and appreciated.

Ian Warren Staples

Ian Staples is a Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Susan Davis and a Captain in the United States Army Reserve who served in Afghanistan in 2013.  Ian came to DC in 2011 to work for Chairman Steve Israel at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He went on to serve as advisor for former Representatives William Enyart and Jackie Speier.

Ian has also worked on several state and national political campaigns, including the 2008 Presidential primaries and a Kansas Senate race. His current legislative portfolio includes armed services and veterans, focusing on transition assistance and military benefits. Ian often meets with transitioning service members looking to work on the Hill and in public policy, and has been actively involved with HillVets since its creation.


James Langenderfer

James Langenderfer is the Chief of Staff for Representative Brian Mast. Now a veteran of Capitol Hill, James has worked for Representatives Joe Heck, Jean Schmidt, and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  A native of Toledo, Ohio, Langenderfer is an Army Ranger who served in Iraq as a scout sniper. Langenderfer earned a degree in political science from Ohio University and joined the infantry just days after Sept. 11, 2001. He completed two tours of duty in Iraq, participating in the conflict from the very beginning.

Jon Towers

Jon Towers has picked up the keys to again lead the staff for the incoming Chairman, Phil Roe, of the House Veteran Affairs Committee. Jon is the first Staff Director in recent history to not be replaced by an incoming Chairman, which speaks volumes of his leadership and knowhow in navigating the Veterans Affairs space. With more than 16 years of Capitol Hill experience, Towers has also served on the Republican staff of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where he was the lead staff member on legislative and oversight matters concerning VA health care. Also, at various points during his tenure with SVAC, Towers was the lead staff member handling VA disability compensation, pension, housing, insurance and memorial affairs issues.


Ali McGuire

Alison McGuire is a Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming.  She joined the Senator’s staff in August 2015, and advises him on issues related to national defense, veterans’ affairs, energy, judiciary and Indian affairs.  Previously, McGuire served in the Navy’s Office of General Counsel, litigating acquisition suspension and debarment proceedings, and advising federal investigators from multiple agencies on procurement fraud cases.  She served for four years as an active duty Air Force Judge Advocate, and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

McGuire is a native of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Wyoming and 2010 graduate of the William & Mary College of Law.  She began her career in politics working as a Press Secretary and Legislative Assistant to U.S. Representative Barbara Cubin (R-WY) from 2003 to 2007.  She lives in Alexandria with her husband, a United States Marine Corps infantry officer.

Chris Bennett

Chris is an Army National Guard veteran that got his foothold working on Capitol Hill with Representative Palazzo as a HillVets Fellow during the fall of 2015.  He was subsequently hired by Representative Walz, the highest ranking enlisted Member of Congress in history and a former HillVets Legislator of the Year, to manage the veterans and education legislative portfolios.  Since Representative Walz’s well deserved rise to Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Chris splits time between the member and committee offices.

Chris deployed with the Guam Army National Guard in Afghanistan in 2013 to Kabul Afghanistan. After his deployment, he coached rowing for several teams in the Washington DC area, including  the National Cathedral School, which he continues to this day.