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.
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.