What are your areas of expertise?

  • Combatting misinformation (e.g., alternative facts, fake news)
  • Developing and delivering persuasive messaging for building influence and shaping public opinion
  • Distilling complex topics into engaging, accessible, and accurate language that resonates with general audiences and the public - particularly related to science, public health, and engineering
  • Achieving enactment of major public policies using an insider, 360-degree approach informed by service as a Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives during two decades of work in Congress

What's your professional background and experience?

I served as Chief of Staff to Representative and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) during two decades of work in the U.S. Congress. In between my two periods of work on Capitol Hill, I was a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and an Internet Strategist for a startup.

In addition to serving as Chief of Staff in the Senate and House, I also held senior level communications and legislative positions at various times during my time in the Markey office. My experience on major policy initiatives included:

  • Managing the successful effort to enact a bill creating the first national strategy for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease - the National Alzheimer’s Project Act - signed into law by President Obama in January, 2011
  • Spearheading passage of a landmark bill signed into law by President Obama in October, 2010 to enable Americans with disabilities to use the latest telecommunications and video devices and services, including smart phones for accessing the Internet, closed captioning for online video, and audio descriptions of television programming
  • Leading the successful multi-year initiative to pass amendments and conduct oversight of U.S. airline security policy, resulting in enactment in August, 2007 of the first-ever law to require all of the billions of pounds of air cargo carried on passenger planes every year to be screened for explosives
  • Coordinating the activities leading to enactment of the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act signed into law by President Obama in October, 2010 to increase the ability of people with rare disorders like Cystic Fibrosis to participate in clinical trials to find new cures
  • Leading the successful legislative strategy to improve the quality of health care for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple severe, chronic diseases, culminating in enactment of the Independence At Home demonstration program as part of the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

My one-slide bio is here

What types of organizations do you work with? Who are your clients?

My clients include universities, scientific societies, and corporations, such as:

  • University of Chicago
  • Cornell University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Virginia
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • University of California-Irvine
  • Arizona State University
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Optical Society of America
  • March for Science
  • MassBio Ed
  • WasteMINZ
  • Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, and others

Why is a former Senate chief of staff hosting a science podcast?

Evidence-based public policies rooted in facts and sound science are a cornerstone of our democracy.

As a former political insider, I'm concerned the marginalization of scientific expertise in policymaking is warping our laws and regulations, enabling harmful activities dangerous to public health and well-being, and eroding confidence in our system of government at the federal, state, and local levels.

Through my training and speaking work and on the "When Science Speaks" podcast, my goal is to empower scientists, engineers, and anyone who values the central role of facts and evidence in our society to get their voices heard and push back against the ongoing assault on these essential elements.