Though greater Philadelphia is in the grip of Pope-mania at the moment, the pieces of the Democratic National Convention coming to  town next July continue to be assembled apace.

The convention committee announced Tuesday it had hired Lee Whack, a veteran communicator on the Hill and in Illinois state politics, to be press secretary for the 2016 DNC.

Whack, 31, moves over from the office of Rep. Jan Schakowski (D.,Ill.), where he was communications director. Previously he worked as public-relations manager for the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, a spokesman for several members of the Illinois state Senate, and on the 2010 campaign for state treasurer.

Whack is a 2006 magna cum laude graduate from Morehouse College, and earned a master's in journalism from Northwestern University in 2011. He also  was a local news reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

"We are very pleased that Lee is joining the Convention team," Convention CEO Leah D. Daughtry said in a statement.  "I am confident his background and experience will help us achieve our goal of being the most engaging, inclusive and forward-looking convention in history."