WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., announced Wednesday he has hired a new chief of staff.

Helen Walker Tolar, a 12-year veteran of Capitol Hill, will go to work for Boozman at the end of the month, replacing Matt Sagely, who the senator said is pursuing an opportunity in the private sector.

Tolar currently serves as staff director and chief counsel of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

"I have known Helen for years, having worked together on veterans’ legislation, and I can say with confidence that she has one of the sharpest minds on Capitol Hill," Boozman said in a statement.

Tolar, a Florida native, has served in her current role for the past three years. Prior to that, she worked for U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and on the staff of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.