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Former Aides Launch New Go-To Lobbying Shop

By Alyson Klein — January 04, 2011 2 min read
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Have an interest in federal education legislation and want to make sure your voice is heard on Capitol Hill? There’s a new game in town you may want to check out.

Five former congressional aides, each with more than a decade of experience in Washington, have teamed up to form Penn Hill Group, a new government relations firm that will specialize in a range of issues, including K-12 policy.

The career transition from staffer to lobbyist, and sometimes back the other way, is pretty common in Washington — there’s a revolving door among congressional offices, the administration, and advocacy organizations.

Penn Hill Group features an all-star, bipartisan line-up:

Three senior members are Republicans:

*Vic Klatt has worked on education policy in Washington since 1989. He was the Republican staff director of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee when it was chaired by Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, who is now the incoming Armed Services Committee chairman. And Klatt was a deputy assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Education. He also worked at the Republican National Committee and as campaign manager and press secretary for Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who will be chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Most recently, Klatt was a vice president with Van Scoyoc Associates.

*D’Arcy Philips also recently worked as a vice-president at Van Scoyoc Associates. Philips worked for eight years on education and workforce policy for the House Education and Labor Committee.

*Rich Stombres also came from Van Scoyoc Associates, where he served as a director. Stombres focused on education and human services policy as a Republican deputy director of education and human services in the House Education and Labor Committee.

And two are Democrats:

*Alex Nock served as a Democratic deputy staff director for the House Education and Labor Committee, where he oversaw education, workforce, health and disability policy. And Nock was the director of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind, which released Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nation’s Children. (Check out our coverage of the Commission’s work here.)

*Danica Petroshius recently served as the president and CEO of Policy Strategies and Solutions. Before that, Petroshius worked as the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s chief of staff, as well as deputy staff director and top education adviser on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. And she served in the Education Department during the Clinton administration, working on the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Penn Hill Group will work on K-12 policy (including the reauthorization of the ESEA), along with special education, welfare policy, vocational rehabilitation, job training, health care overhaul, early childhood education, higher education, major programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and other issues including juvenile justice, library, and museum policy.