Giffords Leads Crowd in Pledge of Allegiance: Amanda Lee Myers–federalnewsradio.com–1/8/12–Photo: Mark Kelly on Twitter
UPDATE 4/12/13: Giffords Ex-Chief of Staff Back on Team to Fight for Gun Control
UPDATE: 10/24/12–The Hill’s 25 Women to Watch
UPDATE: 12/4/11–Giffords Aide Pia Carusone Takes Command of Office
By Pamela Burke/April 7, 2011
Right now Pia Carusone has one tough and demanding job in Washington, DC, as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Chief of Staff. Since the Tucson tragedy in January when Giffords was critically wounded by a gunshot to the head, Pia’s office has been handling the needs of the people her boss represents in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.
Along with this, the staff has been dealing with the loss of one of their own, the steady barrage of media questions, and the public’s concern about Gabby’s condition.
“The experience has been the most difficult and emotional one that I’ve ever gone through.” Pia
An added daily pressure is the historic final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour at the end of the month commanded by Gabby’s husband, Capt. Mark Kelly.
So far Pia’s holding steady. This 30-year-old keeps a low profile and gives most of the credit to the incredible group she and Giffords work with in DC and Tucson.
After seeing Giffords’ remarkable day by day recovery, I was looking forward to talking to Pia about dealing with the stress of her job, holding the office together, and the strength of her courageous boss… [Read more…]
You won’t find many photos of Pia Carusone, only those of the woman she works for, but you may have seen her on television this week. She is Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Chief-of-Staff and has been valiantly handling constant inquires from the public and the press about the Congresswoman. Pia wasn’t in Arizona at the time of the horrendous shooting incident but arrived in Tucson soon after from Washington.
This native of Saratoga Springs, New York got involved in politics after graduating from Bard College.
She began as an intern on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and later worked on his staff. She moved on to Capitol Hill as press secretary for Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland.
Pia gave insight into the Congresswoman in a brief article in Glamour which the magazine says is her first interview since the shooting. It’s called “4 Things You Don’t Know About Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords” by Sarah Robbins. She talks about how Gabby at 40 is one of the youngest female Democrats in Congress. Pia is just 30.
She says they share all sorts of cultural things. She describes the Representative as a role model for interns and says people feel that they know Gabby even if they haven’t spent that much time with her. One of her passions is motorcycles as you can see above. Bicycling is a big stress reliever for her she adds.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Pia and getting to know her better in the days ahead as she holds the Representative’s office together. An interview in the Troy Record quotes Pia on her motivation for working with Giffords: “I just wanted to work for someone who I felt inspired by. She’s truly an amazing woman.”
We’re praying that Congresswoman Giffords continues her courageous recovery in Houston. From all reports, she is progressing amazingly well.
If you get the chance, please read this message from Pia posted February 8 on Rep. Giffords’ website. It’s a special message she sent to the Arizona Daily Star. She talks about how Gabby’s spirit is being reflected in the public offering of good that is happening these days.
Giffords’ staff continues to work tirelessly as they always did. She says it helped the staff to return quickly to work. She mentions that they recently assisted a Tucson woman who wanted to flee Cairo. Also, they made it possible for two veterans to get the service medals they never received.
As Pia says, “This is the work we do all the time.”