Lobbying World

Lobbying World
© Greg Nash

Kevin O’Connor, who has spent the last 16 years with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), is forming his own firm called O’Connor CARES Solutions. He most recently served as assistant to the IAFF’s general president for politics and legislative affairs and oversaw the union’s political action committee.

Former Senate Finance Committee health policy counsel Billy Wynne has launched Wynne Health Group. He has a supporting cast of seasoned lawyers and advocates, including Katie Pahner, a former staffer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who comes from lobbying firm Health Policy Source. Another veteran at the firm is Michelle Galvanek, who has worked in the corporate world for Johnson & Johnson. Wynne most recently worked at lobbying firm Thorn Run Partners.


Amy Schatz has left USTelecom to join Glen Echo Group as a director. At the industry group, Schatz worked as the vice president of media affairs. She is a former political reporter who has worked for Politico, Recode and The Wall Street Journal. The firm also promoted Catherine Dillingham to a director position.

NextGen America has named Heather Hargreaves as its executive director as the advocacy group, founded by billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer, gears up for the next two election cycles. Hargreaves has been with NextGen since 2015 and managed the organization’s electoral campaign efforts in 2016.

Subject Matter hired Hastie Afkhami as a senior vice president of digital. Before that, she worked at firms including the Podesta Group and Ogilvy.

Vinca LaFleur has been named a managing partner at West Wing Writers, a first for the firm. The firm also brought on Kate Childs Graham, a former chief speechwriter for Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Facebook reeling after NYT report | Dems want DOJ probe | HQ2 brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Judge upholds Russian troll farm indictments | Cyber moonshot panel unveils recommendations Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill Dems press Justice Department to probe Facebook over political attacks MORE (D-Minn.), as a principal. 

Frank McCarthy has left the Keelen Group to start his own shop, called McCarthy Advanced Consulting (MAC), to handle lobbying, grass-roots advocacy, and digital and social media public relations campaigns. Erin Delaney, also from the Keelen Group, is joining MAC as director of administration. McCarthy had been with the Keelen Group since 2012 and previously worked for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.