Human Resources Minister Jane Stewart has a new communications assistant in her press office. Andrew Graham started with Ms. Stewart last month after the departure of Elizabeth Clarkson. Mr. Graham 24, an Ottawa native, went to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to study economics in 1997 and obtained his master's degree in 2001. "I went to Scotland because I wanted to see something new. I have always been very interested in other parts of the world and I had my family roots in Scotland as well so I decided to go there." said Mr. Graham in an interview with The Hill Times. During his studies in Scotland, Mr. Graham returned to Ottawa in the summer of 1998 for a summer job as an intern in Liberal MP David Kilgour's office who was Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa at that time. In the summer of 2000, he worked as a freelance journalist with the renowned British weekly newsmagazine The Economist which continued for the next one-and-a-half years. After his return to Canada last year, Mr. Graham started to work as a communications officer for an international NGO, CARE Canada, which is a development and relief organization. During his stay at CARE, he visited other countries including Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Kosovo. He stayed with CARE Canada until October of this year. In his current job, Mr. Graham will "help the Minister prepare for interviews and work with the media to promote the issues of the department which includes child poverty, access to higher education, employment insurance, etc." Mr. Graham told Hill Climbers that his experience as a print journalist has helped him a great deal in understanding how journalistic processes work and he thinks that this experience will help him do his job as a press secretary more efficiently and effectively. Justice Minister hires veteran journalist Justice Minister Martin Cauchon hired a new communications adviser in his ministerial political office. Mike Murphy, a former veteran journalist, started in Mr. Cauchon's office last month. He will work closely with Suzanne ThÃ©barge, the communications assistant of the minister. Mr. Murphy, a native of Peterborough, Ont., completed his diploma in journalism from Fanshawe College located in London, Ont., in the early 1970s. Since then, he has worked for radio, television and print media networks, including CHCH TV, WIC TV, ISN TV and CHML radio. He also worked for The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star as a freelance journalist in the past. Mr. Murphy worked on the Hill as a director of communications with Maria Minna, former minister of International Cooperation in 2000-2001, for about nine months and left her office two months before she was removed from Cabinet on charges from opposition parties that in a municipal by election last year, she voted in a ward where her constituency office was located. Ethics Counsellor Howard Wilson, however, earlier this year cleared Ms. Minna of any wrongdoing. From there, Mr. Murphy briefly returned to Broadcast News in Toronto and then in January, 2002, began work for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs as a media manager. In this capacity, he gave strategic, communications and media relations advice to the department for the launch of the First Nations Governance Initiative. Mr. Murphy told Hill Climbers that one of his strengths as a staffer is his good "street-sense" which he believes will help him prepare Minister Cauchon to communicate his message to Canadians. "You know in the Throne Speech, justice issues were very important. There is legislation that is coming up in the near future. I find it's going to be a challenging and rewarding opportunity," said Mr. Murphy. "My job is to assist the minister in his communications with the Canadian public. It's undoubtedly challenging at a challenging time but I have a pretty good street-sense so it's an asset in terms of determining what it is that the public is looking for and what they want to hear?" Robinson hires a new assistant Veteran British Columbia NDP MP Svend J. Robinson has hired a new communications and administrative assistant for his office. Jaime Adams joined Mr. Robinson's office last month to replace Eric HÃ©bert who has moved to the party office as the new assistant federal secretary for the New Democratic Party. Before joining Mr. Robinson's office, Ms. Adams worked as a webmaster at the Justice Department for the last three years. She joined the department as a student through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) in 1999 while she was studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. She went to Carleton in 1999 to study Central East European and Russian studies but has not finished her degree as yet although she plans to return to finish her BA at some point in the future. A Sudbury, Ont., native, Ms. Adams said in an interview with Hill Climbers that she became involved in politics at a very young age as her mother herself was a constituency assistant for NDP Sudbury MPP Sharon Murdoch. So, in her off days from school and after school, she used to help out her mother Gisele Adams in the constituency office. Ms. Adams said she will be the "people's first contact when they communicate with the office of Mr. Robinson whether they contact by phone, email, regular mail or in person etc." She will also schedule media interviews. Unless you've been living under a rock, Francoise Ducros, resigned last week as the Prime Minister's director of communications, after making the famous "what a moron" comment at the NATO Summit in Prague about U.S. President George W. Bush. Initially, Mr. ChrÃ©tien refused to accept her resignation, but later agreed to accept it as Ms. Ducros told him that after making the "infamous" comment, it will be impossible for her to do her job effectively. Ms. Ducros will return to the public service but it was not clear until last week what department she will join. Ms. Ducros, 40, a lawyer by training was in the federal public service when she was hired by then fisheries minister Brian Tobin as his executive assistant. After Mr. Tobin's departure from federal politics, she joined Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs StÃ©phane Dion's office as his executive assistant. In 1999, she became Prime Minister Jean ChrÃ©tien's director of communications.