Utah Sen. Mike Lee named Mark Wait as his new chief of staff Tuesday, after announcing his longtime chief of staff Allyson Bell would return to Utah to take on the role of senior adviser to the senator. He said the changes would take effect Nov. 27.

Wait, who is a 2019 graduate of Utah Valley University, was previously a deputy chief of staff in Lee’s office. A press release from Lee’s office said Wait has a “wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the senator’s vision and policy objectives. His appointment represents a commitment to maintaining strong leadership and advancing a conservative agenda to help Utah families and defend the Constitution.”

A Utah native, Wait started in Lee’s office as an intern in 2019, before moving up to staff assistant, to director of scheduling and to deputy chief of staff.

In her new role, Bell will be “continuing to support his initiatives and policy goals in Utah,” the press release said. Bell has been Lee’s chief of staff for eight years, and has worked in his Washington, D.C., office since 2011.

Before working for Lee, she spent 12 years working for former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, both during his time as governor and then in Washington, D.C., where she was his director of scheduling and advance at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and director of advance for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bell said working with Lee “has been a privilege, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. 

Lee said Bell has been a cornerstone of our team, providing exceptional leadership and insight as chief of staff over the last eight years. Her contributions are invaluable, and she’ll be missed in Washington, but I’m thrilled that she’ll continue to help guide our efforts in Utah.”