Katie Arrington, fresh off her loss to represent the Lowcountry in Congress, has found her way to Washington through another branch of government.

Arrington will serve as a “highly qualified expert” for  the Undersecretary of Defense’s Acquisition and Sustainment team.

According to the Department of Defense, the role is necessary to promote its “national security mission.”

“HQEs are individuals who possess uncommon, special knowledge, skills, and experience in an occupational field, and judgment that is accorded authority and status by peers or the public,” according to the DoD website. “They have substantive experience and/or education, are often highly-credentialed, and have proven their ability in a particular field or fields.”

The job lasts for up to five years, with the possibility of a year-long extension. It’s one of the highest paid positions for federal employees (GS-15), starting at $105,123 a year plus “locality-based comparability pay.”

“In her capacity as special assistant for Cybersecurity to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, she’ll have access to senior leaders on a top department priority,” said DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews. “Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Lord has full faith and confidence in her experience, and is excited to have her on the team.”

Despite support from President Donald Trump in a Republican district, Arrington lost her bid to represent the 1st Congressional District to Democratic attorney Joe Cunningham by a margin of less than 4,000 votes.

The one-term state rep from Summerville has a history working for defense contractors.

She’s been in the executive board of Women in Defense since 2010 and has been in the board of directors for the Charleston Defense Contractors Association since 2011, according to her state legislative page.

According to the Post & Courier, Arrington was most recently the vice president of sales at Dispersive Technologies, a cyber security services provider (her legislative bio lists her as VP of operations.)

A campaign consultant told the paper that Arrington would travel to Washington periodically and continue to live in Summerville.

Asked whether the current partial federal government shutdown would affect Arrington’s paycheck, DoD spokesman Christopher Sherwood told the City Paper that the department remains funded through the 2019 fiscal year, which ends on September 30. 

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