LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Wednesday that he has hired a Bennington native with experience in Washington as his new strategic communications director.

Alexis (Alex) Allen Reuss will replace Taylor Gage, who left the governor’s office last week to take a new job as executive director of the Nebraska Republican Party.

Reuss began her career as a member of U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer’s policy team in Washington D.C. She also worked as a legislative advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice and launched Penn Ave Strategies, a Nebraska-based communications firm.

In a statement, Ricketts said Reuss distinguished herself through hard work, attention to detail and communication skills.

Reuss earned a bachelor of arts degree from Hillsdale College. She currently lives in Elkhorn with her husband and two children. She will begin in her new job Monday.