During a time of great uncertainty in Washington DC, organizations need wise strategic advice and advocacy more than ever to help achieve their goals at the federal level. Capitol Hill Partners has nearly a century of collective, high-level experience with both legislative and executive policy making in Washington, as our team members have served in senior positions in both of these branches of the federal government.
Capitol Hill Partners is a highly capable boutique firm focused on providing personalized service and highly effective customized advocacy on behalf of our clients. Our firm is dedicated to helping international, national, state and local clients to maximize legislative and executive branch opportunities and to protecting against adverse policy actions in order to meet our clients’ organizational goals. We have purposefully chosen a compact, accessible structure to ensure that our senior leaders can dedicate their strong substantive backgrounds directly to each client who seeks our assistance.
We are privileged to only represent and advise clients with whom we share a common purpose and whose interests involve important public policy matters. The members of Capitol Hill Partners are personally committed to our clients, with a mutual dedication to integrity and credibility in our relationships with them. We provide advocacy and consulting services to a broad range of clients in the nonprofit, for profit, philanthropic and governmental sectors, which utilize our comprehensive resources to access the full spectrum of federal policy making.
Leander J. Foley, III
For more than 30 years, Lee Foley has worked as one of Washington's foremost counselors on policy and legislative advocacy. Lee advises clients and represents various interests before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch on issues involving:
• Elementary, secondary and postsecondary education
• Employment and training, employment security and job creation
• Housing, community and economic development, and asset building
• Financial services
• Small business development
• Programs for older Americans
• Rural and agricultural programs
• Disability and civil rights policy
• Appropriate technology applications.
In the award winning book Coyote Warrior, investigative journalist and author Paul VanDevelder writes that Lee Foley is "the best in the city."
Lee has extensive business experience in banking and financial services as a founder and member the boards of directors of financial institutions serving five major U.S. metropolitan areas. He has also served for more than 12 years on a local K-12 school board and its executive committee.
Prior to his lobbying career, Lee served in a variety of positions in Washington including as a White House domestic policy advisor, Chief of Staff of the predecessor agency to the Office of Community Services at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He also served on the staff of the U.S. Senate’s Labor and Public Welfare Committee (now called the HELP Committee) and the Senate Finance Committee. Lee is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin.
At Capitol Hill Partners, Lee provides clients with an unmatched breadth of expertise across a broad swath of federal programs and policies, as well as state and local government guidance. His assistance on behalf of clients includes direct lobbying, regulatory initiatives, public and private funding tactics, foundation-related strategies, political intelligence, coalition advocacy, and communications and grassroots strategy.
John Colbert, Esq.
John Colbert has an extensive background serving in the Executive branch, as well as working with Congress. John was a senior official in the Clinton Administration as Chief of Staff of the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, overseeing an $11 billion budget. In this position, John helped direct the nation’s major job training and youth development programs.
Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, John was a legislative liaison with Congress for the Clinton Administration on a number of major reauthorization bills and their implementation, including the Workforce Investment Act, Older Americans Act and Welfare to Work Act. He also acted as the Department of Labor’s point person with the Congressional Appropriations Committee in the development of pilot projects and Congressionally directed funding.
An attorney in private practice before entering government, John has acted as an advisor to the former Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, focusing on fostering the Irish peace process. He also was a legal advisor on “Mr. Justice Brennan,” an award-winning documentary on former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. He is a graduate of Holy Cross College, holds a Master's degree in Political Science from the Catholic University of America, and a law degree from Georgetown University.
At Capitol Hill Partners, John specializes in representing national workforce, education and social service programs, as well as individual nonprofits, before Congress, and the Executive branch. His assistance on behalf of clients includes direct lobbying, regulatory initiatives, political intelligence, coalition advocacy, as well as communications and grassroots strategy.
For more than 30 years, Jim was a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations committee, assigned to the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee. Jim’s exceptional service to the Appropriations Committee allowed him to continue working with the majority party through seven changes of party leadership in the Senate.
When Democrats controlled the Senate majority during his tenure, Jim worked directly for the Chairman of the Labor-HHS Subcommittee, Tom Harkin (D-IA), who now also chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that writes key legislation pertaining to workforce development, education and a variety of social service programming.
Jim was responsible for a wide range of appropriations accounts, including:
• All Department of Labor programs
• Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
• Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
• National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Jim also had responsibility for many programs under the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services including:
• Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
• Refugee and Enfant Assistance
• Head Start/Child Care/Child Welfare
• Developmental Disabilities programs
• Community Services Programs
• Administration on Aging (as well as the Social Security Administration)
Jim had similarly extensive account oversight at the Education Department for:
• Higher Education
• Special Education – IDEA
• Career and Adult Education
• Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research.
Jim is a nationally recognized expert on federal appropriations issues. He provides clients with unsurpassed guidance on appropriations processes, strategy and solutions. His nearly 40 years of experience in the development of legislative bill and report language has proved vital to organizations seeking legislative remedies to complicated federal issues.
He holds a Baccalaureate degree and Master’s degrees in counseling and public administration from the University of Washington.
Bettilou Taylor, Of Counsel
For over 35 years, Bettilou served as professional staff on the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Her service in the U.S. House of Representatives included senior assignments on three of the panel’s subcommittees, including the Department of Transportation, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Her experience affords her a broad and deep knowledge of how the appropriations and authorizing processes work, and how decisions are made.
During her 23 years in the Senate, she served as professional staff and then as staff director of the largest domestic appropriations subcommittee, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Her ability to work with both sides of the aisle in a nonpartisan manner has given her the respect of her colleagues and appreciation of the many advocacy organizations that she has worked with over the years.
Bettilou has extensive experience working with Cabinet officials, agency administrators, budget officers and program officials, particularly related to the annual appropriations bills, congressional priorities and the Presidential budget request. She specialized in advancing legislative agendas across a wide spectrum of agencies and issues, including programs within the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, social services and substance abuse),USAID, Department of Defense, USDA and Commerce, Justice, Science.
Bettilou is an expert on federal appropriations issues and provides her clients with guidance on process, strategy and solutions in developing a legislative agenda to solve complicated issues through the authorizing and appropriations process.
Over the years, she has received numerous awards and recognition including: Top 10 Influential People in Biomedical Policy from the Nature Medicine Journal; Distinguished Congressional Staff Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers; Champion for Medical Research Award from the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research; Special Recognition Award from the National Council on Aging, Advocates award from the Coalition for Education Funding; Exemplary Public Service Award from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities; Special Olympics Award for efforts to raise awareness of the unmet mental health needs for persons with mental retardation; Outstanding Service Award from the Corrections Education Association; Special Recognition Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Public Health Continuum Award from the Coalition for Health Funding; Excellence in Public Service Award from the Population Association of America; Champion of Public Television Award from the Association of Public Television Stations; and the Staff Award from the National Association of Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Directors, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion Project Directors.
John Twomey, Of Counsel
John Twomey is Of Counsel to Capitol Hill Partners. John is one of the most respected experts in the nation on both workforce and at risk youth issues, with over forty years of leadership experience in these fields. From 1987-2012, he was the Executive Director of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP) the umbrella workforce association in New York state. During this time, NYATEP experienced tremendous growth and became the linchpin organization bringing together community based organizations, business leaders, workforce investment boards, and government leaders in support of New York and our nation’s workforce.
John also served in many leadership capacities at the national level, including as President of the National Workforce Association, Leadership Council of the National Skills Coalition, the United States Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council, and a member of the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. He has testified before Congress and the State Legislature numerous times.
His expertise spans the range of social services and includes federal, state, and local government relations, grassroots and grass tops coalition building, nonprofit management, grants identification and development of funding proposals, as well as outreach to the foundation community.
Along with his work at Capitol Hill Partners, John is also the principal of John A. Twomey and Associates, a workforce consulting organizations.
Gerri Fiala, Of Counsel
Gerri Fiala is Of Counsel to Capitol Hill Partners. She is the former career Deputy Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), where she was responsible for leading the Department’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), along with the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, a $2 billion investment to increase the ability of community colleges to address the challenges of today’s workforce.
Prior to her time at DOL, Gerri was Staff Director to the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety chaired by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Gerri was the lead staff drafter of Senator Murray's "Innovations in 21st Century Careers" bill to make education more relevant for high school students, as well as a number of bills introduced by Senator Murray during the economic stimulus debate that were funded as part of the Recovery Act, and provided significant input into the Affordable Care Act’s health workforce provisions.
Gerri also served as Director of Workforce Research at the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) and as Senior Counselor for Economic Development to the American Association of Community Colleges. Prior to this, Gerri was the Administrator of the Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research at DOL, leading interagency efforts to drive job training reform, which culminated in the passage of the Workforce Investment Act, reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, and Welfare to Work programs. Gerri also guided DOL’s effort to craft and implement either regulations or guidance for each of these programs,
Gerri holds a Masters of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa, and Associate of Arts from North Iowa Area Community College.
Jacoby Lawrence, Vice President
Jacoby Lawrence came to Capitol Hill Partners in 2013 and as Vice President, provides policy, grant, and association management assistance to clients on issues related to higher education, health care, and social services. His prior experience includes internships in the House of Representatives, the Research Department of a national political party, and a state assembly campaign.
Jacoby received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and his Master’s in Public Administration from the Trachtenberg School at the George Washington University. His Capstone project at George Washington examined promising practices for implementing the nation’s first Pay for Success project initiated by a County government.
Kristen Truong, Director of Public Affairs
As Director of Public Affairs, Kristen manages the communications and educates clients on issues on the Hill and in the federal government. She previously worked on a project to reform the federal budget process and on a NASA project about emerging spaceflight companies. She has interned on Capitol Hill analyzing issues from veterans affairs to tax policy.
Kristen received her Bachelor's in International Relations from the University of South Florida, and her Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Financial Managment from American University