Tom Sheridan Tom Sheridan

President

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Once again named a “Top Lobbyist” by The Hill newspaper for 2016, Tom Sheridan is described as a “powerbroker for those without a voice.” A social worker by training and an advocate by trade, Tom brings a unique perspective to his work as one of Washington’s most senior political and public policy strategists. Tom is known on Capitol Hill and in the West Wing for using his deep understanding of the political process and decades-long relationships with senior Members of Congress and top Administration officials to help organizations achieve scalable, positive social change.
 
From designing and leading the country’s most well-known issue campaigns, including his work for Bono’s ONE Campaign to create PEPFAR and his more recent role as lead strategist in Save the Children’s effort to form a new 501(c)(4) political arm, Tom is a seasoned operative who brings a unique approach to advocacy. This senior level experience helping top-notch organizations achieve success makes Tom a highly sought-after political tactician for organizations determined to challenge the status quo and create meaningful change in our country and around the world.

In 1991, Tom founded The Sheridan Group where he and his team work to craft effective strategies for socially responsible public policy initiatives to “help the good do better.” Over the years, The Sheridan Group has become the go-to firm in the nation’s capital for grassroots advocacy, issue campaign management and coalition-building for non-profit organizations, social entrepreneurs and socially conscious corporations.

Tom was the lead political strategist for the America Forward campaign, a two-year bipartisan initiative to engage the 2008 Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates in adopting policy proposals to increase innovation, strategic investment and accountability in public problem solving. This work led to the eventual creation of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, which promotes engagement and collaboration between the business and social sectors to help solve community problems.

Tom began his career at the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League before joining the AIDS Action Council in the late 1980s, where he became the chief architect and strategist behind the enactment of the Ryan White CARE Act, landmark legislation for the HIV/AIDS community, as well as the lead lobbyist for the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Tom is a frequent speaker on how to use the levers of politics and policy to effect social change.

Community Engagement

Tom is a founding Board Member of AIDSPAC and the Matthew 25 Project and has served on the Advisory Council for WAMU National Public Radio in Washington, DC. He has been a volunteer for and benefactor of numerous charities and is proud to have participated in seven AIDS Life Cycles, pedaling more than 3,000 miles.

Harris Wofford Harris Wofford

Senior Advisor

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U.S. Senator Harris Wofford has served his country for more than sixty years, starting when he volunteered for the Army Air Corps in World War II and continuing through government and community service during the terms of ten Presidents.

In the 1950s, Harris was an advisor to Martin Luther King, served as counsel to Rev. Theodore Hesburgh on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and later was an associate professor at Notre Dame Law School. When Senator John Kennedy ran for President, Harris joined the campaign as civil rights coordinator. Upon Kennedy’s election, Harris served as the President’s Special Assistant for Civil Rights (1961-62) and helped Sargent Shriver launch the Peace Corps. In late 1962, Harris became director of Ethiopia’s large Peace Corps program and served as Special Representative to Africa. On his return, he became the Peace Corps Associate Director.

In the late 1960s and through the 1970s, Harris moved into academia, serving as President of the State University of New York’s new College at Old Westbury, and then as President of Bryn Mawr College.

Returning to government in the 1980s, Harris served as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry. In 1991, after the death of Republican Senator John Heinz, Governor Bob Casey appointed Harris to fill the Senate seat during the six months before a special election. Facing an uphill campaign against U.S. Attorney General (and former Pennsylvania governor) Dick Thornburgh, Harris carried the banner of affordable health care for all – a message that helped take him from more than 40 points behind in the polls to an upset victory of 10 points. Harris became the first Democratic Senator to be elected in Pennsylvania in 29 years and brought health care to the national agenda.

While in the United States Senate, Harris played a key role in the legislation establishing the Corporation for National Service, that included the new AmeriCorps, and, with Representative John Lewis, initiated and authored the act establishing Martin Luther King Day as a day of service – a day on, not a day off. After Congressman Rick Santorum defeated Harris in the Republican wave of 1994, Harris was appointed by President Clinton as the CEO of the Corporation for National Service. Under his tenure, AmeriCorps grew to over 50,000 members.

Community Engagement

In recent years, Wofford has been chair and then co-chair (with Alma Powell) of the America’s Promise Alliance for children and youth. He joined the campaign of Barack Obama as an official surrogate, speaking on his behalf in a number of states and introducing him for two major addresses – on race and on service. He advised Obama on the development of a comprehensive service and social innovation agenda, including the growth of AmeriCorps to 250,000 members that was authorized in the bi-partisan Edward M. Kennedy Act and enacted during President Obama’s first one hundred days.

Wofford has written numerous articles on national service, Gandhi, civil disobedience, civic engagement, education and politics, and four books including, Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties, 1980, and with his wife Clare, IndiaAfire, 1950.

Jill Allen Murray Jill Allen Murray

Senior Advisor

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Jill brings more than 15 years of experience on Capitol Hill, political campaigns and nonprofit advocacy to her work at The Sheridan Group. In addition to helping setting the firm’s strategic path, Jill is responsible for her individual client portfolio. Covering issues that range from education to economic development to healthcare to the environment, Jill develops strategy and implements agendas on both the Hill and within the administration. During her time at The Sheridan Group, Jill successfully advocated for funding the Regional Innovation program – the FY2014 Omnibus included this grant line item for the first time ever – and led education groups’ advocacy which garnered an additional criteria in President Obama’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waivers.

Prior to joining The Sheridan Group, Jill served as Congressman Dan Maffei’s (NY-25) Chief of Staff, his senior advisor on legislative affairs, personnel, constituent relations and the advocacy community in Washington DC. During her tenure, the Congressman successfully strengthened and championed the Credit Card Holders’ Bill of Rights; enacted a law ensuring that millions of plastic gift cards would not become waste; adjusted the medical device tax contained in the health care reform law, protecting jobs in Upstate New York; brokered a compromise with leaders on both sides of the aisle to ensure that auto dealers were treated fairly as US auto companies reorganized; and brought home millions in congressionally-directed resources. Jill was also the Congressman’s key staff person covering his work on the Financial Services Committee as Congress enacted an historic and sweeping regulatory reform law.

Prior to her time in Maffei’s office, Jill served on Congressman Russ Carnahan’s (MO-03) legislative staff as Policy Director, covering a wide array of domestic issues that included the Committees on Science and Transportation & Infrastructure. Jill advised Carnahan while he successfully enacted a law permitting land access for local economic development projects and created a new line of national funding for multiple sclerosis (MS) research – both achievements followed a strategic effort to influence the appropriate committees of jurisdiction and the corresponding chairmen.

Jill served on the John Edwards for President Campaign from 2003 to 2004 in Iowa, Tennessee and Ohio and on the Russ Carnahan for Congress campaign in 2004 in Missouri. She worked for NARAL on both the legislative staff, where she lobbied Congress, and political staff, advising on PAC contributions in key races throughout the country.

Jill holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a BA from Colgate University.

Community Engagement

Jill is an active participant in the combined efforts of Foundry United Methodist church and Washington Interfaith Network to expand supportive housing in Washington DC to find housing for the chronically homeless. She is also a former reading mentor for EverybodyWINS! DC Power Lunch program.

Becky Shipp Becky Shipp

Vice President

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Becky brings more than 25 years of senior-level experience on Capitol Hill to her work as Vice President at The Sheridan Group. As one of the leaders of the client services team at TSG, Becky provides clients with expert advice for pursuing short and long-term policy objectives. A longtime GOP staffer on the Senate Finance Committee, Becky adds a unique and valuable perspective to the TSG team.

Prior to joining The Sheridan Group, Becky served as lead negotiator and policy advisor for the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on health and human service issues under both Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) and Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT). In this role, Becky worked directly with Members of Congress, including House and Senate Committee Chairs and Leadership, as well as White House officials, on health and social impact financing and human services policies.  She also managed a series of diverse and bipartisan coalitions of health and human services stakeholders, including Committee and Leadership staff, think tanks, advocacy organizations, Administration officials and state groups to advance legislation and get that legislation enacted into law. 

Becky’s long history of bipartisan collaboration is integral to her role at TSG.  She has advanced major bipartisan/bicameral legislative initiatives, including: The Family Opportunity Act, the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), The Social Impact Partnership Act, The Family First Prevention Services Act; the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA); Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act and the landmark, Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act.

In addition, Becky has an in-depth understanding of the Congressional Budget Process and has been a principal lead during multiple budget reconciliation exercises, including litigating numerous complex budget policies with the Senate Parliamentarian.  She has worked extensively with professionals at the Congressional Budget Office and OMB in developing, modeling and adjusting cost and revenue estimates relative to legislation.

As the Director of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth (2009 – 2012) Becky promoted an extensive strategy to advance child welfare financing reform, organizing a roundtable with foster care youth, researchers, advocates and government officials featured in a documentary on foster care entitled From Place to Place.

A seasoned public speaker, Becky has represented the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in public speeches and on his behalf participated on panels for associations, think tanks, interest groups and advocates. She has testified before the committee on the legislation and answered questions from the Members of the Senate Finance Committee.

As a thought leader, Becky has provided numerous background briefings and interviews on health care, social impact financing and welfare policies with academics, policy writers and think tanks and presented original analysis and political insights at academic and policy forums and conferences.  Her work as the lead staffer on the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative was featured in the book, Show Me the Evidence, by Ron Haskins.

Becky holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop and Boston University.  She is also a published poet who has taught literature and writing at the University of Iowa, Northeastern University and Boston College.  

Carly Katz Carly Katz

Senior Policy Associate

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At The Sheridan Group, Carly is responsible for a diverse portfolio of clients with missions in the fields of education, national service, the environment, technology, and health. As Senior Policy Associate, Carly plays a key role in developing and executing advocacy strategy plans, providing insight into Congressional actions, and connecting clients to Capitol Hill, the Administration, and like-minded organizations in Washington, D.C. Carly’s Congressional and subject matter expertise, combined with her creative thinking and problem-solving skills, ensures that her clients’ priorities are always front and center.

Carly joined The Sheridan Group after five years of service on Capitol Hill, most recently as Legislative Director to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01). As Legislative Director, Carly oversaw the Congresswoman’s policy work, engaging on all issues before Congress and participating in the development of senior-level policy and political strategy development. Carly brings this expertise to The Sheridan Group, along with deep knowledge of the legislative process and a strong understanding and dedication to the issues important to TSG’s client partners.

Before serving as Legislative Director to Rep. Shea-Porter, Carly previously served as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), where she was the lead staffer on education, workforce, health, arts, and social safety net issues. Carly created and grew the Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Caucus, working closely with other congressional offices, advocacy groups, and federal agencies to raise awareness of STEAM issues both on and off Capitol Hill. She also oversaw the Congresswoman’s work related to the Education and Workforce Committee, successfully collaborating with committee staff to advance Rep. Bonamici’s legislative priorities.

Carly received a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Spanish.

Community Engagement

Carly has been active in the Women’s Information Network (WIN), Barnard-in-Washington, and the Women’s Congressional Staff Association, where she co-chaired its mentoring program.

Matt Schlesinger Matt Schlesinger

Policy Associate

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At The Sheridan Group, Matt supports a diverse portfolio of clients with missions in the fields of education, national service, international development and technology. As a Policy Associate, Matt plays an important role in developing and executing advocacy strategy plans, providing key insight into Congressional and Executive Branch actions.   He also helps manage TSG’s new business development activities.

Matt joined The Sheridan Group after four years as a practicing attorney, concentrating in the areas of municipal law, civil litigation and appellate practice.  In addition to representing clients in all stages of litigation, Matt regularly drafted legislation and counseled local governments and boards, non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education and individuals with respect to a wide range of issues. Matt’s passion for the issues and legal background and training allow him to master complex legislative priorities in order to provide his clients with a unique perspective of the policymaking process.

Matt received a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, New York, and a Bachelor of Arts from American University, where he majored in Political Science and minored in Education Studies.

Lindsay Gilchrist Lindsay Gilchrist

International Development Advisor

As The Sheridan Group’s International Development Advisor, Lindsay provides policy expertise and strategic leadership for clients including Save the Children Action Network, the ONE Campaign and Nuru International. Lindsay is also the founder of Gilchrist & Company, an advocacy, policy and communications firm that works with international non-profits, domestic organizations and political candidates.

In 2012, Lindsay worked for mothers2mothers (m2m), an international non-profit that prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the Senior Advocacy Officer, she led m2m’s efforts to improve knowledge about maternal and child health in Africa. Lindsay represented mothers2mothers with members of Congress, the Executive branch and other NGOs. She also organized advocacy events, including Congressional briefings and a press conference.

Prior to mothers2mothers, Lindsay worked for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. As a Professional Staff Member, she advised Subcommittee Chairman Donald Payne (D-NJ-10) on global health, security and humanitarian issues in Africa. In addition, she collaborated with the Foreign Affairs Committee staff on the successful passage of the Conflict Minerals Bill, which requires companies to disclose the sources of minerals used in their products. She also organized a Congressional hearing on the status of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and she served as the staff person on the Congressional Sudan Caucus.

Lindsay also worked as a Special Assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), providing recommendations for legislative and communications issues. While working for Senator Kennedy, she played a role in several critical pieces of legislation: the Iraqi Refugee Bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and healthcare reform.

Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of San Diego and a master’s in Public Policy from UCLA.

Brian Rothbart Brian Rothbart

Executive Assistant to the President/Administrative Director

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Brian comes to The Sheridan Group with considerable experience working in the nonprofit sector, most recently at the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), where he served as Director of Operations.  Prior to NPAF, Brian worked at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in their Global Division, the Public Policy Departments of The Wilderness Society and the American Public Health Association, and the Communication Department of The League of Conservation Voters.  Brian has also worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3).

Brian received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Law, Economics and Government and a Masters of Public Policy from American University in Washington, DC.

Partners for Change:

ONE Campaign
Save the Children
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
ACTFL
Benetech
Voices
SSTI
Nuru International