Jonathan Burks and John Righter discuss the Murray-Ryan Budget Deal

On March 10, Mr. Jonathan Burks, National Security Advisor to the Speaker of the House, and Mr. John Rigther, Deputy Staff Director, Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Labor (HELP), Minority Staff, met with participants in the PSA-Harvard Negotiation Program to discuss negotiating the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. In this off-the-record dinner, Burks and Rigther discussed their role behind the scenes and lessons learned from negotiating this bipartisan bill, also known as the Murray-Ryan Budget.


Mr. Jonathan Burks

Mr. Jonathan Burks is the national security advisor to the Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan. During his nearly two decades in public policy, he has been the policy advisor for budget and appropriations issues to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the policy director for the House Budget Committee, the deputy policy director for the Romney for President campaign, the director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the senior advisor (chief of staff) to the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, a special assistant to the President of the United States, a deputy assistant to the Vice President of the United States, and a policy analyst on the House Republican Policy Committee.


Mr. John Rigther

Mr. John Rigther is the deputy staff director of the Democratic staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, a position he has held since January 2015.  In this position, he supervises a staff of 50 to 60 employees and helps oversee a broad and diverse portfolio of domestic policy programs and issues.  Prior to his current position, he was the deputy staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, a position he held from 2005 through January 2015, serving two Chairs.  In that role, he supervised a staff of 30 employees; helped formulate and enforce the annual budget resolution; and advised the Chairman on budget and procedural issues.  From 2001 through 2005, he was an analyst for the Senate Budget Committee, with a portfolio that included general government, commerce and housing credit, and appropriations issues.  Prior to his employment in the Senate, Mr. Righter worked for six years as an analyst with the Congressional Budget Office.