Cassidy and Associates News

CUNY in DCMalave Scholars of The City University of New York (CUNY), a Cassidy client, are on Capitol Hill this week discussing higher education reform, food security, and affordable housing with staff members from the New York Congressional Delegation including U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as well as the House Agriculture Committee.

The CUNY Malave Academy provides an advanced level of co-curricular opportunities for students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership on their campuses and in their communities. This unique program develops leadership values and skills through experiential civic engagement, advocacy activities, and leadership competency training. The Malave students learn how to be effective leaders both within CUNY and their own communities.

Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson spoke to Greenwire today on action he expects from Congress for the remainder of 2016 when it comes to energy and environmental issues.

There is also consideration of the Water Resources Development Act and energy tax credits that some lawmakers tried to Greenwireattach to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. In addition, there is legislation on chemical safety reform, as well as the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, according to Kai Anderson, CEO of Cassidy & Associates.

“There is plenty of unfinished business at the end of any two-year Congress. Some pieces can be finished up this year. Some pieces need to be advanced as far as possible so that they can be fast out of the gate in the next Congress with a new president,” Anderson said.

Read more at Greenwire >>>

Tri Alpha Energy recently welcomed Congressman Mark Takano (CA) to its state-of-the-art facility, briefing him on its progress and the exciting potential for fusion-powered electricity technology. Congressman Takano met with Chief Science Officer for Tri Alpha Dr. Toshiki Tajima, along with CEO Dr. Dale Prouty and CTO Dr. Michl Binderbauer, who showcased the latest reactor version that has the ability to hold its plasma stable for 5 milliseconds.

Tri Alpha Energy is developing world-changing clean fusion energy technology for the near future.

ACORE Renewable Energy ForumNational and global policies are reshaping the renewable energy marketplace and today leaders across government, industry and academia are in Washington for the ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum. Cassidy & Associates is a proud member of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and supporter of the annual gathering.

Cassidy Senior Vice President Dave Belote is at the event with Cassidy clients as the forum discusses and debates the best way to fully implement a roadmap for a low-carbon future. From the changing electricity marketplace to expanding capital for renewables and prospects for the Clean Power Plan, all are a part of today’s forum to help unite business, policy and finance to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy.

US Army Womens FoundationMarch is Women’s History Month and today Washington hosts the 8th Annual U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Summit. Cassidy Senior Vice President Michelle Greene is on site at the event as a member of the foundation’s advisory board.

The Summit brings together experts on defense, economic, political, health and social issues effecting soldiers. Attendees examine the changing military missions and roles of Army women and the challenges they face transitioning back to civilian life.

Michelle, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the U.S. Army. Before joining Cassidy & Associates Michelle finished her Army career serving as the Chief of Congressional Affairs in the U.S. Army’s Office of the Surgeon General and an Army Budget Congressional Liaison. She is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

InmarsatSatellite technology is transforming the way we live, work, and interact on a global scale and this week Washington plays host to the most important global satellite communications event of the year, SATELLITE. Cassidy Executive Vice President Terry Paul and Cassidy Vice President Vern Simmons are attending the annual event with Cassidy client Inmarsat, a lead sponsor.

The event brings together thousands of participants from around the world to focus on key global issues facing the industry. Inmarsat SVP for Government Strategy Inmarsat 2and Policy Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch is a featured participant at the event leading a panel discussion on the turning point for the Department of Defense in satellite acquisition and deployment. The panel included experts from the Pentagon, industry, and media.

Former Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia has joined Cassidy & Associates as a Senior Advisor. A centrist Democrat, he represented West Virginia’s Third District and was the dean of state’s congressional delegation serving for 38 years from 1977 to 2015.Nick_Rahall

Congressman Rahall served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee from 2007 to 2011 and was the Ranking Member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2011-2015.

A quarter of the bills he sponsored while in Congress related to public lands and natural resources. As Chairman, he worked to honor the Committee’s charge of serving the natural environment, wild lands, scenic vistas, fish and wildlife, Native Americans, and the public interest.

“We are pleased to have Congressman Rahall on board and the opportunity to rely on his expertise and network as we work to broaden our practices related to natural resource, public lands, transportation and infrastructure issues,” said Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson.

Kai added, “As a well-regarded leader with a track record of balancing conservation and development, Congressman Rahall knows the trends and players and can help us build on our success and capabilities in variety of pursuits.”

Congressman Rahall noted, “Cassidy has a top-notch team. I know firsthand of its impeccable work and how they work effectively to educate and empower Washington with the facts, insights and strategies so the government can make well-informed decisions.”

Read more on Congressman Rahall joining Cassidy at The Washington Post >>>

Trout UnlimitedCassidy is proud to help honor volunteers of Trout Unlimited Veterans Service Partnership (VSP) tonight as the organization hosts its annual dinner in Washington. VSP is a nation-wide effort working with multiple organizations to use fishing and conservation as a way for wounded veterans to heal and find community through TU’s network of chapters.

Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson is a member of the event’s host committee and also serves on the Trout Unlimited Board of Trustees. 151 TU chapters in 39 states have helped 6,150 veterans to date through VSP and donated more than 194,000 hours in support of veterans.

Cassidy client Inmarsat works every day with DoD agencies creating powerful solutions that help meet military mission Inmarsatrequirements and leverage advances in commercial satellite communications capability. But more can be done to further integrate commercial capabilities and Inmarsat Senior Vice President for Government Strategy and Policy Rebecca M. Cowen-Hirsch is taking a closer look at what is being done in this “new era for the DoD and space.”

Cowen-Hirsch writes in a recent blog how proposed shifts in space policy and the adoption of a “satcom-as-a-service” model will usher in the next age of innovation in space.

“It is an era of uncertainty, as we cannot fully know the intent of our enemies, just as we cannot predict when and where the next natural disaster will compel our humanitarian assistance. It is also an age of opportunity to push SATCOM innovation to extraordinary levels of performance, as industry leaders work with government agencies to augment MILSATCOM with ideal coverage, capabilities, reliability, capacity, resiliency and security. With this, the military community will best position itself to prepare for any challenge, with completely secured access to the space assets needed to get the job done.”

Read more of her blog here>>>

Cassidy Arctic Symposium SeattleNational security, economic development and the environment were all topics tackled at the recent Arctic Encounter Symposium in Seattle. Cassidy Vice President Kaleb Froehlich was on site as a featured moderator to discussions at the largest annual Arctic policy event in the United States.

Cassidy & Associates was proud to sponsor the Seattle event and its international counterpart in Paris as part of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in December.

The AES mission is to raise awareness, engage challenges, and develop solutions for the future of the Arctic region and its people.

Cassidy Carrer FairCassidy’s Jesse Barba was sharing career tips and advice with high school and college students over the weekend at the Capital Partners for Education (CPE) annual career fair at the National Press Club in Washington.

A couple hundred students attended the event where Jesse outlined how they could become engaged in public policy and land a job on Capitol Hill. He also explained Cassidy’s commitment and importance of maintaining integrity and professionalism, as you’re an advocate for your client’s interest.

The annual career fair is an opportunity for students to explore a variety of professions and practice their interviewing skills. CPE is a mentoring and college success program for low-income students living in the Washington, DC area.

The Washington PostState of the Union 2016 takes a look at the “winners and losers” in last night’s State of the Union Address by President Barack Obama and talks to Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson about the clean energy sector’s significant role in the speech. Kai tells Post reporter Catherine Ho, “It’s a tremendous business opportunity for folks who are part of the innovation economy.”

Read more here >>>

fed-energy-logo-greyWhat are four of the biggest issues facing the Defense Department and other federal agencies in overall sustainability of federal assets? The Cassidy Energy Team will help answer that question at the DOD/Federal Energy and Water Forum today in Washington.

Cassidy is a lead sponsor of the event co-hosted by The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) and the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). The Forum offers energy and water industry leaders the opportunity to provide critical feedback on current federal initiatives and develop solutions to real-world issues.

Dave Belote and Amelia Jenkins, both senior vice presidents at Cassidy, will be on site at today’s event. Amelia, who served as Deputy Staff Director and Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources prior to joining Cassidy in April, is a featured panelist and moderator.

1442187466700As the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris wraps up, Cassidy & Associates is a lead sponsor of the only Arctic policy and economics event at the global gathering held today and through the weekend. Arctic Encounter Paris 2015, and later the third annual Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) in Seattle on January 15, 2016 is led by University of Washington School of Law. AES Paris hosts global leaders and experts to critically address challenges and realizing the Arctic’s full potential while collaborating on solutions.

The Seattle symposium is the largest annual Arctic policy event in the United States and will bring together policymakers, industry leaders, and leading experts to confront the leading issues in Arctic policy, innovation, and development. Cassidy Vice President Kaleb Froehlich, also serves as a member of the AES leadership team.

Cassidy Defense Energy ad 2015

Cassidy sponsors Defense Energy Summit 2015

The Cassidy Energy Team is in Austin this week joining global innovation, business and defense leaders for the
Defense Energy Summit 2015. Cassidy & Associates is returning as a sponsor of the annual event that focuses on building a new Defense Energy Center of Excellence and efforts to accelerate clean energy and infrastructure solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense in support of national security and the warfighter.

On site in Texas is Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson along with Executive Vice President Russ Thomasson. Senior Vice President Dave Belote is a featured speaker on Wednesday, discussing operational strategies and mobilizing stakeholders to prepare, respond, recover and adapt to change.

ThePractice_CoverImage_Nov2015-112x150Lawyers in Politics is the cover story to November’s issue of Harvard Law School’s online magazine, The Practice, and Cassidy Chairman Barry Rhoads spoke to the magazine on the question of whether lobbying is lawyering.

The Practice reported… Recalling his first meetings with a community group relating to a pending base closure—Rhoads was involved in the Department of Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission—he notes, “I treated this representation just like any other legal matter. At that time, there were few lawyers in the rural areas where these military bases were located, so the clients were just impressed to have anyone come and represent them.” Summing up, he says, “I’ve been practicing law every day quite frankly. That’s why I think I’m good at what I do—because of my legal background.”

Cassidy and Associates Veterans DayOn this Veteran’s Day, a special thanks to our colleagues for their service. Thank you.

pictured today L to R:

Arthur Mason – A native of Brookline, Massachusetts, Arthur was a member of the United States Army and served in the infantry as a first lieutenant and captain in Vietnam. While a company commander, he was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action, the Bronze Star, three Air Medals, a Valorous Unit Citation, and numerous other declarations.

Dave Belote  Dave is a retired Air Force colonel and F-16 pilot who earned two Bronze Stars during Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as commander for Nellis Air Force Base.

Byron S. Bagby – Major General Bagby retired from the U.S. Army after more than 33 years of service. He held command positions in the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions, and was Deputy Commander of the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. He served in executive leadership positions on the Army Staff in the Office of the Director of Programs and on the Joint Staff in the Directorate of Strategic Plans and Policy. He has also served as Commandant of Joint Forces Staff College; Chief of Staff of U.S. Army, Europe; and as Chief of U. S. Security Assistance in Egypt the largest security cooperation operation in the world.

Terry Paul – General Paul is best known in Washington for his experience as the Marine Corps liaison officer in the U.S. Senate, a post he held for an unprecedented ten years until he was promoted to General Officer and assigned to the Pentagon. During his military career as an infantry officer, he served in various command and staff positions at virtually every echelon from platoon through division. He was co-founder of the renowned Marine’s Infantry Officers School and a distinguished graduate of the Marine Corps University Command and Staff College in Quantico, VA. Terry was presented the nation’s highest peacetime award, the Distinguished Service Medal, upon departure from the Corps.

Barry Rhoads – Barry retired from the United States Army after 22 years of service, holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After returning from service as a war crimes prosecutor during the first Gulf War, Barry was named Deputy General Counsel to the 1991 Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

Vernon Simmons  Vern came to Cassidy and Associates following a distinguished military career where he served in a variety of leadership and financial positions across all levels of the U.S. Air Force. In his most recent assignment, he served as Deputy Chief of the U.S. Air Force Budget and Appropriations Liaison Division. He also held the position of Assistant for Congressional issues in the U.S. Air Force, Budget and Appropriations Liaison Division. He served for two years as the Budget Director of the Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, and held other notable positions including Commander of a 50-person Air Force Comptroller Squadron at Seymour Air Force Base, North Carolina and U.S. Air Force Budget Analyst at the Pentagon.

Sean Rollins – Sean served as a U.S. Army Military Police Officer.

not pictured:

Russ Thomassson – Russ served as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Michelle Greene  Michelle has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the U.S. Army serving as the Chief of Congressional Affairs in the U.S. Army’s Office of the Surgeon General and an Army Budget Congressional Liaison. She is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Christopher Cole   Rear Admiral Cole retired from active service in January 2004 after 32 years of military leadership and experience with the United States Navy. He was selected for Flag rank in 1997 and has served as the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Commander of Navy Region Mid- Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, and Director of the Office of Chief Naval Operations’ Ashore Readiness Division. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (4), the Meritorious Service Medal (4), and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Gary Krump   Judge Gary J. Krump served as the Chairman & Chief Judge of the Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Contract Appeals. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Gary served in a variety of senior roles in the Department of Veterans Affairs, including serving as the VA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Materiel Management. A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Gary served in many other capacities within the Department, including Acting Assistant Secretary for Acquisitions and Facilities, Director of the Office of Real Property Management, Director of Acquisition Management Service, and as Deputy Assistant General Counsel.

Dennis Vaughan   Rear Admiral Vaughan served as Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Navy’s Mine Warfare; Chief of Naval Reserve; Deputy Commander of Military Sealift Command Pacific and Far East; and, Commander of Naval Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE, in addition to other assignments. In all, Rear Admiral Vaughan has had 13 commands including Command at Sea and Command Ashore, and has served in critical operations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Croatia, Haiti, and Vietnam.


Cassidy National Security InsightsIt’s a starting point, not finish line on Capitol Hill following last week’s bipartisan budget deal that boosts defense spending by $40 billion over two fiscal years and the Cassidy Team has advice for stakeholders… ramp up your Hill efforts.

A Cassidy national security policy memo, released today, provides details of the deal, the important take-aways, and next steps expected on the Hill including… “As Congress wraps up consideration on FY’16 bills and begins debating FY’17 bills, it will make important policy and spending decisions on a multitude of national security programs.”

For more information and a copy of the national security policy memo, contact Kevin Binger at

Cassidy Associates U.S. CapitolThe Hill newspaper has singled out Cassidy’s Co-Chairmen Kai Anderson and Barry Rhoads as some of Washington’s best in its annual list of Top Lobbyists. The paper notes Cassidy is “thriving under the leadership of Anderson and Rhoads.”

Read more here >>>

cuny-logoThe City University of New York (CUNY) plans to invest $42 million in the expansion of a program that has impressive results in improving graduation rates. CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken made the announcement in a keynote address at the 46th annual Association of Community College Trustees Leadership Congress.

“I believe community colleges hold the key to solving our most vexing challenges to national competitiveness,” Milliken said. “In addition to national destinies, higher education changes individual lives profoundly.”

The New York Daily News reported, that CUNY’s Bronx campus is being designated an Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, or ASAP, college where students receive extra tutoring and academic support, as well as financial help for books and MetroCards.

Milliken said the $42 million in city funds will allow ASAP to expand from 4,000 students to 25,000 students across all CUNY associate programs by 2018.

Learn more about the announcement here >>

Cassidy & Associates hosted guests on Capitol Hill to celebrate its 40th anniversary and had former UPI photographer Matt Mendelsohn on assignment to capture the moment. You can see all the photos in our photo album on the Cassidy Facebook page.

Cassidy & Associates 40

Cassidy 40We celebrated our 40th birthday last night and POLITICO Influence has the intel on the fête.

OVER THE HILL: Cassidy and Associates marked 40 years last night on the roof terrace of the Hall of States Building overlooking the Capitol and Union Station. Founder Gerry Cassidy and his wife Loretta joined the firm’s current Co-Chairmen Kai Anderson and Barry Rhoads in welcoming Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.); Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Bill Keating (D-Mass.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Mark Takai (D-Hawaii); Marty Franken and Ranny Cooper of Cassidy sister company Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick; former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. P.X. Kelley; Cloakroom Advisors founder and principal Gregg Hartley; Prism Public Affairs founder Dale Leibach; and Venable partner Greg Gill. The signature cocktail featured cranberry juice from longtime client Ocean Spray. “Lobbying firms, most can’t survive two months, let alone 40 years,” Cassidy said.


Majority Leader McConnell Russ Thomasson TributeU.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the senate just before adjourning for the August congressional recess this week to give special recognition to Russ Thomasson and his exceptional work as Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. Sen. McConnell said Russ proved to be “incredibly effective” and “an invaluable member of our team” in his leadership role in the Republican Whip Office for the past three years and “is someone whose judgment (he) value(s) greatly.”

Russ joins Cassidy as an Executive Vice President on Monday after his 15-year tenure on Capitol Hill. POLITICO reported on Russ’s move and noted Sen. McConnell also said in his floor remarks, “When (Russ) takes the pulse of the Senate, it’s with uncommon precision.”

You can watch the extraordinary remarks from the Senate floor on C-SPAN by Sen. McConnell here >>> and Sen. Cornyn here >>>

The Congressional Record also has the full text of the tribute to Russ by the Majority Leader here >>>

On Monday EPA rolled out its final rules for carbon emissions from new and existing energy generation facilities. Cassidy’s team has been tracking these rulemakings closely since the drafts were released in 2013 and 2014 and Cassidy and Associates EPA Climate Change Ruleworking with EPA to understand various scenarios.

The rules are designed to regulate the carbon output of U.S. fleet of electricity generation capacity powered by fossil fuels, both gas and coal, and only over a certain size. However, practically all aspects of the electricity sector are affected by the rule because non-fossil assets and efficiency activities are eligible to generate Emissions Reduction Credits (ERCs) in order to help states offset the carbon outputs of their fossil fleet. Combined, the final rules and their supplemental documents total about 4,000 pages of analysis, guidelines and legal justifications that are now being absorbed and assessed by the vast stakeholder community in Washington and the broader U.S. electricity sector. Cassidy has selected highlights from the rule that have not yet been acknowledged by the media below:

CHANGING STATE GOALS: The state-by-state goals for carbon emission rates in the final rule for existing power plants are not identical to what was offered in the 2014 draft. Some state’s goals are more stringent and some are less. However, EPA has also changed its definition of “affected energy generation unit” and modified the types of technologies that can help a state generate emission rates credits (ERCs) to offset their carbon outputs. Therefore it is difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison to the state obligations under the draft rule. Overall, the lowest rate-based state goal is 771 lbs of CO2/MWh, while the highest is 1,305 lbs/MWh. In absolute terms, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine and California have the least improvement to make in their emissions rates. Montana , the Dakotas, Illinois and Kansas have the most work to do.

WHAT ABOUT PROGRESS MADE FROM 2012-2022? Energy savings or alternative energy measures of any kind installed in any year after 2012 are considered eligible measures to help offset a state’s carbon outputs under the final EPA rule, but only the megawatt-hours of electricity generation or electricity savings that they produce in 2022 and future years, carefully quantified and verified, may be applied toward adjusting a CO2 emission rate.

DID NATURAL GAS REALLY GET THE SHORT END OF THE STICK? Much of the early press coverage of the final rule for existing power plants makes it seem like natural gas is in a much worse position than it was under the draft rule. But in fact, the amount of credit to be earned by converting to natural gas stayed the same. The cleaner the gas plant, the more it can contribute to achieving a state’s CO2 reduction goals. What changed was the EPA’s projection about how much natural gas is likely to contribute to the national 2030 carbon reduction goals. This projection does not affect state’s abilities to be bullish on new natural gas and coal-to-gas switching on its way to compliance.

TRANSMISSION COUNTS: Improving transmission efficiency is an emissions reductions pathway blessed by EPA in the final rule. EPA specifically names measures that reduce line losses and conservation voltage reductions as eligible actions to improve a state’s CO2 emission rate. To be eligible, transmission & distribution measures must be installed after 2012.

FEAR THE FIP? If states refuse to craft their own state implementation plans by the September 2016, they will be subject to a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) cooked up by EPA. This is in keeping with how the Clean Air Act functions for other airborne pollutants, and states historically tend to try to avoid implementation of a FIP at all costs. At this time a handful of states are playing with the “just say no” option championed by some opponents to the Clean Power Plan. EPA offered a preview of the FIP on Monday which may well agitate non-compliant states more than anything they could come up with on their own: EPA would implement a federally-enforced carbon trading program for Emissions Reductions Credits – essentially the return of cap-and-trade – and levee it directly against electricity generators and utilities, who are unlikely to skirt a legal obligation from the federal government.

WASTE HEAT TO POWER GETS ITS DUE: In a departure from the 2014 draft rule, EPA specifically called out waste heat to power, a process of capturing heat wasted by industrial processes to create electricity, as a type of zero-emission compliance technology. In the 2014 draft rule, WHP was never mentioned. A megawatt-hour of generation from WHP will be provided full credit as an emissions reduction strategy if states deploy or expand WHP projects within their border.

For more information on the EPA Clean Power Plan, contact Janie Wise

Cassidy & Asssenate podiumociates announced today that Russell J. Thomasson, Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), will join the firm in August as an Executive Vice President.

“Russ Thomasson enjoys the respect and admiration of Senators and staff on both sides of the aisle as a professional who gets things done on the Hill. He has been at the table providing Senate leadership advice and counsel during his 15 year tenure on Capitol Hill and we are thrilled he is joining our team,” said Cassidy & Associates Co-Chairman Kai Anderson. “Russ is well known and widely respected as a substantive, creative, and effective problem solver.”

Cassidy Co-Chairman Barry Rhoads added, “Russ has proven he knows how to get things done, how to make Washington work. That’s the first-hand knowledge that’s going to benefit our clients and essential to our success in delivering results.”

Russ has served on Sen. Cornyn’s staff since 2003 and as Chief of Staff in the Republican Whip Office for the past three years. As the Majority Whip’s Chief of Staff, he developed and implemented legislative and policy strategies as part of the Republican leadership team as well as conducted negotiations with Members, senior staff, and committees. Roll Call newspaper has repeatedly recognized Russ as one of Capitol Hill’s top 50 staff members including in 2013 and 2014. Earlier Russ served as Sen. Cornyn’s Legislative Director and Legislative Assistant.

Russ noted this year is especially significant to join the firm, “Forty years is a long time for any company to keep its leadership spot, and I’m impressed by the Cassidy team now, more than ever, and the standard it sets today for client service. I’m eager to get started.”

Prior to his work for Sen. Cornyn, Russ served as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Russ earned a master’s degree in Russian Studies from Indiana University and a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University.


Cassidy and Associates Energy TeamWhat’s in the Senate’s Comprehensive Energy package? What are the next steps to the Senate floor? Cassidy’s Energy Team has been closely tracking and analyzing the legislative package since the beginning of the Congress and following Wednesday’s unveiling by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has released a new legislative report that gives a top line look at what’s in the bipartisan bill.

The Cassidy report details how Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) originally planned for the Committee to tackle each section of the bill separately, but now the Cassidy team anticipates that the bill will be marked up in its entirety in a series of at least two markups beginning on Tuesday, July 28. The process is steered by Chairwoman Murkowski’s insistence that the Committee finishes its work by August 6th and report the bill to the full Senate Floor.

For the full Cassidy report on the Energy Bill and more on how a year-end deal could shape up, contact Amelia Jenkins or Kaleb Froehlich

Cassidy experts recently joined leaders from Capitol Hill and the Pentagon to explore issues surrounding the future of military installations and the communities that support them at the go-to policy event for defense communities and military leadership. Community leaders spent a spirited three days discussing pressing issues facing military communities: from the potential of future BRACs, to the impact of sequestration on military installationsADC 2015, emerging energy and water issues, transportation and infrastructure in military communities, public-private partnerships, economic development and more.

Following the Association of Defense Communities’ 2015 National Summit, the Cassidy team released its annual state of play newsletter that brings together and analyzes all the important information and data gathered from the key decision makers and opinion leaders who attended.

With the Army’s decision to downsize by 40,000 troops expected to come this week, military communities, defense contractors, economic developers are beginning to see the true impacts of sequestration on their communities.

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment (ASA IE&E) Katherine Hammack led the Army discussion at the national Summit and while she has helped drive significant changes in Army installation priorities and policies, current budget uncertainties make her job ever more challenging. A complete summary of Secretary Hammack’s comments is included in the Cassidy state of play newsletter. For the full report contact Susann Edwards at

Congress is considering cybersecurity legislation now and it’s critical that businesses across all sectors are engaged on Capitol Hill, that’s the message a team of Cassidy & Associates experts shared with top industry experts earlier last cybersecurityweek at a national forum in Pittsburgh.

“The news about the hack of OPM’s databases has added new urgency to the debate,” said Cassidy Co-Chairman Barry Rhoads. “Now every federal employee knows first-hand how vulnerable their information is. This has given a lot of momentum to the bills Congress is working on.”

Rhoads and Cassidy Senior VP Kevin Binger briefed the forum on progress being made on data breach notification bills, cyber-threat information sharing legislation, and other cybersecurity initiatives being debated on Capitol Hill. “Congressional committees are going to be making decisions on these bills this summer and fall that will affect every company doing business across the country,” Binger said. “They will be making tough decisions on issues like data security requirements, liability protections, penalties for non-compliance, and other issues that will affect almost every industry. If businesses aren’t following this closely and assessing how they will be affected, they should be.”

Rhoads and Binger spoke to the annual gathering of several hundred cybersecurity experts from business, government and academia, telling attendees at the three-day event that the prognosis for passage of cybersecurity legislation in this Congress is improving, and that key decisions on important details have yet to be made.

Two cybersecurity information sharing bills have passed in the House, and data breach notification legislation has been approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In the Senate, an effort was made this month to attach cyber information-sharing legislation to the annual defense authorization bill.

17cover layout.inddCQ Weekly talked to Cassidy Co Chairman Barry Rhoads for its cover story this week, Battle Plans: Preparing for the Next Base-Closure Round, here’s an excerpt:

The threat of base closures appears to be becoming more real. While Congress has for the past few years united to block the Pentagon’s effort to launch another politically fraught round of base realignments and closures, known as BRAC, the political winds may be shifting. The pressure of austere budgets, combined with an improved economy, means that more voices on Capitol Hill are acknowledging that base closures may be inevitable in the near future.

As budgets tighten and the Army and Air Force try to become leaner, more cost-effective forces, many once-mighty and thriving bases are seeing their populations plummet. That’s leaving buildings, barracks and hangars empty, making these bases tempting targets in any future BRAC round.

For some, BRAC could be an opportunity to attract new missions to their bases, including those that have been depleted of duties and personnel.

Take Fort Knox in Kentucky, a historic installation that has lost 40 percent of its military population since 2013, when the Army eliminated the base’s brigade combat team. With its 100,000 acres of ranges and maneuver areas, Fort Knox is a valuable military asset east of the Mississippi that would likely never close.

“You only get so many maneuver acres,” says Barry Rhoads, a veteran BRAC lobbyist at Cassidy and Associates who recently signed on to represent nearby Fort Campbell. “You don’t get that back ever again, no matter where it is,” he adds.

For the communities surrounding military bases, a formal round of base closures — with the benefits of an independent commission and a public appeals process — may be much more preferable to what many fear could become an ad hoc back-door BRAC.

“Communities always felt in a BRAC they were getting a fair shot to make their case,” Rhoads says.

Read the full article at CQ Weekly >>>

Cassidy logo 2015

Cassidy & Associates unveiled its new corporate logo today as it launched its new online presence at marking 40 years as one of Washington’s leading government relations firm. Visitors to the new site will recognize a firm nod to Cassidy’s history along with an enthusiastic look to its future through its growing team of some of Washington’s most trusted and experienced professionals.

“For forty years we’ve not only survived, but today we’re thriving with a solid team that knows how to make Washington work for our clients and has the years of experience and success to back it up,” Cassidy Co-Chairman Kai Anderson remarked.

Cassidy websiteCassidy Co-Chairman Barry Rhoads added, “Today our clients expect us to deliver results where others can’t and we do that by attracting Washington’s best and brightest in areas getting the most attention on Capitol Hill and from the White House.”

In addition to today’s online launch that included the new Cassidy logo, the firm will host an invitation only 40th anniversary celebration this fall in Washington.