S-3 Public Affairs snags top digital strategist Hastie Afkhami, top researcher Zach Gillan, and announces internal promotions

Washington, DC (March 6, 2019) – S-3 Public Affairs announced today that Hastie Afkhami, former Senior Vice President of Digital at Subject Matter and previously at Podesta Group, has joined the firm as the new Head of Digital. Leveraging a wealth of experience managing award winning advocacy campaigns, Afkhami will expand S-3 Public Affair’s growing digital offering. In addition, S-3 welcomes Zach Gillan to the public affairs team and announces two internal promotions.

“We are pleased Hastie has agreed to join our team” said Managing Partner John Scofield. “She is a perfect fit for our culture of client service and record of winning results.  She has worked with global brands and traversed some of the toughest reputational crises. Most importantly, she knows how to craft the data-driven campaigns that clients need to reach their advocacy objectives.”

S-3 also welcomes Zach Gillan to the public affairs team and announces the following promotions: Tara Bauer to associate and Gil Topaz to executive assistant.

Zach Gillan joins S-3’s research team, previously managing political and issue advocacy research for the Congressional Leadership Fund, the House GOP-endorsed super PAC, and American Action Network. There, he helped develop messaging for paid media that was utilized in over $120 million in independent expenditures in the 2018 midterm elections. “I’ve worked with Zach extensively over the years, and I know his depth of knowledge from his background in political research will serve our clients well,” said firm partner Rob Collins.

Tara Bauer joined S-3 Public Affairs in September 2017, where she served as executive assistant to firm partners and principals. S-3 is pleased to promote from within, as Tara will continue her great work for our clients as an associate on the public affairs team. Gil Topaz, intern since October 2018 and Master’s student at George Mason University, continues to grow with S-3 as he steps in as executive assistant.

S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategy, and ultimately wins for clients.


S-3 Adds Seasoned House Democratic Staffer

Washington, DC – S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of Kevin Casey who most recently served as the Policy Director for the House Democratic Caucus under Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY). In this position, Casey directed all policy initiatives for the House Democratic Caucus and was Crowley’s primary advisor on tax and financial services policy.

“Casey brings more than two decades of substantive policy experience and a wide breadth of relationships across the Democratic Caucus.  His knowledge of tax policy is legendary in town, and we could not be more excited he is joining the team,” said S-3’s managing partner John Scofield. Casey bolsters S-3’s Democratic bench which includes Senator Bernie Sanders’ former Chief of Staff Michaeleen Crowell, House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee alum Andrea Riccio, and former Senate Finance Committee professional staffer Todd Wooten.

“Kevin has been a friend and colleague for over 15 years, and there is no one I’d rather have with me in a policy fight. His knowledge of tax policy is unmatched, and his counsel is uniformly respected and trusted by colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said S-3 principal Michaeleen Crowell. “S-3’s clients will benefit from his tenacity, his spot-on political instincts, and his almost unlimited reach within the House Democratic Caucus.”

“Kevin rounds out our Democratic practice giving us full coverage in both chambers across the ideological spectrum,” said S-3 principal Todd Wooten. “He has been an institution on the House side for many years and will bring energy, strategic thinking, and policy expertise to all of our advocacy campaigns.”

Casey served as the Policy Director for Congressman Crowley during his tenure as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. In that role, he worked closely with Democratic leadership, incoming Chairs of Committees and their staffs, and member’s personal offices to ensure the priorities and perspectives of the entire Caucus were communicated to all House Democrats. He led Chairman Crowley’s “Jobs for America” task forces which empowered less senior Members to develop bills showcasing House Democrats laser-like focus on the economy and job creation. Casey was also responsible for the tax and financial services portfolio for Chairman Crowley during his service on the Ways and Means and Financial Services Committees, and served as the Caucus parliamentarian and chief elections officer.

S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.  Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategy, and ultimately wins for clients.


Smart 3 | 11/18/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Welcome back and happy (almost) Thanksgiving. Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” stories and topics shaping the media landscape.


1. Incoming Members of Congress shared their transition to Washington via Instagram 

POLITICO’s Stephanie MurrayFreshmen emerge as Instagram stars. They haven’t even been sworn into office yet, but already a group of Democratic freshmen are schooling their congressional colleagues on how to use social media.

Despite Instagram’s popularity among millennials and young Americans, many House members don’t even have an Instagram presence. Nearly all members are on Facebook or Twitter (about 98 percent), but only about half (47 percent) are on Instagram, according to an October report from the Congressional Research Service.

The takeaway: As Members of Congress get younger, the communications strategies will continue to shift towards direct communication with supporters. The digital communications specialists on the campaign and official sides will have to adjust to new Members running their own handles (look out @ChuckGrassley!).


2. Congratulations to Lestor Holt on winning the Taishoff

National Press Foundation: “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt has been selected as winner of the 2018 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

The Taishoff award is the National Press Foundation’s highest honor for a broadcast journalist. Holt is the award-winning anchor of “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC.”

Holt will receive the Taishoff award at NPF’s annual journalism awards dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington, D.C., along with other award winners. Learn more about the NPF dinner here.

Save the Date: National Press Foundation Annual Award Dinner: February 13, 2019

3. A little S-3 related news 

Several of our S-3 colleagues were mentioned by Bloomberg Government’s Megan Wilson in her latest for B-GOV: New Congress, Old Connections: House Leaders’ Influence Networks.

As lobbying firms staff up to make sure they have all the know-how they’ll need in the 116th Congress, connections to the top decision-makers will be key. Read more here.


Week Ahead: We’ll have a very light week in Washington with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday (November 19): Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee field hearing to examine the effects of tariffs and trade policy on Alabama manufacturing and agriculture, to be held in Mobile, AL

Tuesday (November 20): White House event to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey

Thursday (November 22): Thanksgiving

Fun fact: The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947.

Smart 3 | 11/11/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Happy Sunday and welcome back to the Sunday agenda. We’re 722 days away from the 2020 elections.

Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” stories and topics shaping the media landscape.


1. The 2018 midterm elections broke political advertising spending records

Sara Fischer, Axios:

More money will be spent on advertising this election cycle than any previous midterm cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which powers the election data website, OpenSecrets. While final tallies are still coming in, “it’s safe to say that this is a new midterm record,” says Andrew Mayersohn, Committees Researcher at CRP.

h/t Sam Sabin


2. The memes are coming for LinkedIn

Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed:

Facebook and Twitter’s crackdown on hate speech, false news, and manipulation has caused some people to move their political content sharing to LinkedIn.

Speaking of LinkedIn, the platform is still the leading driver for B2B leads.

Albizu Garcis, PR Daily:

“Eighty percent of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, compared to 13 percent on Twitter and 7 percent on Facebook. This one stat alone should be enough to convince your agency to start investing more time and effort in LinkedIn.”

3. A sign of the times: No desk phones and 6 second videos

What is this giant thing with big buttons on my desk and why does it have a hashtag symbol?

Jennifer Levitz, Wall Street Journal

At home and work, technology habits have changed a lot over the years—and then there’s the office desk phone. With people carrying smartphones everywhere, a segment of the workforce has a hang up with the clunky office versions. Employees find them annoying and complicated, if they use desk phones at all.

Sonoo Singh, TheDrum, “Can the six second ad connect with consumers?”

“The best ads don’t force a product down your throat but bring a level of human connection that makes you feel something.”

“Doing that in six seconds truly is an art.”

BONUS: One of our readers last week asked a very thoughtful question as it relates to current coaching icons.

Over the last ten years, which college coach has sent more athletes into the pros in the first round?

  1. Coach Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide football team into the NFL 1st round
  2. Coach John Calipari, Kentucky Wildcats basketball team into the NBA 1st round

The answer: Nick Saban: 26 John Calipari: 24


Here’s the week ahead:

Monday (November 12): Veterans’ Day

Tuesday (November 13): Congressional lame-duck session beginsSenate Judiciary Committee hearings on judicial nominations and big bank bankruptcy 10 years after Lehman BrothersSenate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nominations of Steven Dillingham (to be director of the U.S. Census) and Michael Kubayanda (to be a commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission) and subcommittee field hearing on the local, state, and federal response to the PFAS crisis in Michigan (to be held in Grand Rapids, MI); House Rules Committee hearing to consider the Manage Our Wolves Act; Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: America’s Financial Future, with speakers including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley; Washington Post Live event on cancer, including FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb

Wednesday (November 14): Senate Republicans hold leadership electionsSenate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Patricia Mahoney (to be ambassador to the Republic of Benin), Richard Paschall III (to be ambassador to the Republic of Gambia), and Susan Stevenson (to be ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea); Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Defense’s cybersecurity acquisition and practices from the private sector; Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting to consider Savanna’s Act and legislative hearing to receive testimony on 3 bills; House Financial Services Committee hearing to receive semi-annual testimony on the Federal Reserve’s supervision and regulation of the financial system from Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on ensuring resources match objectives at the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearings on the 180-day review of the Electronic Health Record Modernization program and a continued review of GI Bill payment delaysTom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on reducing the risk of mass atrocities, featuring opening remarks from co-chairs, Reps. James McGovern (D-MA) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL)

Thursday (November 15): Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing to receive semi-annual testimony on the federal Reserve’s supervision and regulation of the financial system from Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nominations of Dr. Rita Baranwal (to be assistant secretary of Energy for nuclear energy), Bernard McNamee (to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), and Raymond Vela (to be director of the National Park Service); Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Ronald Vitiello (to be assistant secretary of Homeland Security for immigration and customs enforcement) and Richard Tischner, Jr. (to be director of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to examine funding needs for wildlife conservation, recovery, and management; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to examine misconduct and retaliation at the U.S. Forest Service; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing to explore VA oversight of contract disability examinations; POLITICO’s Playbook Elections: What’s Next?The Hill’s Newsmaker Series: Leadership in Action event, with speakers including Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY); The Atlantic event on “a generation in the middle,” with speakers including Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Gregg Harper (R-MS); Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on elections and human rights in Bangladesh, featuring opening remarks from co-chairs, Reps. James McGovern (D-MA) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL)

Friday (November 16): Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee field hearing on how small businesses benefit from smart rail shipping regulation (to be held in New Orleans, LA); American Council on Renewable Energy event on clean energy policy and the 2018 elections

Smart 3 | 11/4/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Welcome back and happy (almost) Election Day.

Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” stories driving and shaping the media landscape.


1. Two things you may not have known about Election Day:
     a) Great GOTV effort (or greatest?): George Washington spent his entire 1758 campaign budget on 160 gallons of liquor served to 391 voters. He followed a Virginia tradition where barrels of liquor were rolled to courthouse lawns and polling places on Election Day. (Source: National Constitution Center)
     b) Why do we vote in November? The weather and farming dictated when elections were held.

“In the 1800s, the agrarian economy was an important factor, and farmers weren’t able to travel easily until the harvest was over. Also, the onset of winter conditions in areas that had winter conditions made travel a problem, so elections happened in the late fall.” (Source: National Constitution Center)


2. 21st Century Voter Drive Reuters: Social media, tech use sites to urge U.S. citizens to vote

Snapchat & Facebook are reminding voters of their polling place and hours. Facebook and Spotify are displaying Gettothepolls.com

“Only about 17 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the previous congressional elections in 2014, though some opinion polls say the proportion could be much higher this year.”

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are offering voters free and discounted rides to the polls 

“It’s important to note, the Uber promo is only good for a ride to the polls, so your ride back will be up to you.” (Link)

3. The last jobs report before most people vote looked pretty good. 

The New York Times: U.S. added 250,000 jobs in October; Unemployment at 3.7%

The Takeaway:
Friday’s report, the last official economic reading before Americans vote on Tuesday, offered another reminder of the labor market’s persistent strength.
“The underlying fundamentals of the labor market are still really bright, it’s really the strongest part of the broader economy at the moment,” said Michelle Girard, chief United States economist at NatWest Markets.


Election Day next week (and then the leadership race fun begins!)

Sunday (November 4): President Trump holds campaign rallies in Macon, GA, and Chattanooga, TN

Monday (November 5): President Trump holds campaign rallies in Cleveland, OHFort Wayne, IN, and Cape Girardeau, MO

Tuesday (November 6): Election Day

Wednesday (November 7): Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting (through Thursday)

Thursday (November 8): Investiture ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh; American Enterprise Instituteevent with Secretary of the Army Mark Esper; The Washington Post Technology 202 Live event including White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell and Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy Michael Kratsios, and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA); Brookings Institution event on the 2018 elections

Friday (November 9): National Press Club Headliners Luncheon with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie; Bipartisan Policy Center event on the 2018 elections

Smart 3 | 10/28/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

We’re nine days from the election, and Halloween is on Wednesday (!). Expect a lot of candy mysteriously showing up in the office Thursday morning.

Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” stories driving and shaping the media landscape.

Since we’re so close to the election, let’s start with a discussion on bipartisanship.


1. Bipartisanship is alive in Washington. 

Well, sorta.

Carl Hulse takes a look at the changing model of trade association leadership advocacy.

New York Times:

“The model has changed,” said Michael Sommers, who served as chief of staff to John A. Boehner when he was House speaker. After a stint at one trade group, Mr. Sommers was in May named head of the American Petroleum Institute, one of the country’s largest and most powerful industry organizations.
He and others say that influential trade groups are no longer looking to build instant status and credibility by bringing on prominent former lawmakers. Instead, they are looking for skilled managers and communicators with Washington expertise who are capable of effectively running large, multimillion-dollar organizations and being held accountable to representing the interests of their members.


2. Is there more technology in your iPhone than launched the Apollo mission? 

As the United Launch Alliance (ULA) celebrated their 50th launch for the U.S. Air Force, we took a moment to compare the technology we all carry in our pocket to that of the Apollo mission.

Popular Mechanics: “an iPhone does have more computing power than all of NASA had during the Apollo days.”

The takeaway: We’re constantly adapting our thinking about what “BIG” means. Things that seemed impossible yesterday quickly become the norm as the world rapidly changes around us.

3. Something fun: skipping college and going straight to an internship. 

Yes, you can go straight from high school to a high-paid internship. You just need to be 6’9 and have a mean jump shot.

Darius Bazley is going to be an intern for New Balance and make $1 million for three months of service.

Marc Stein: The Million-Dollar Intern (h/t Mike Allen)


Political debates and campaign rallies fill the calendar as we sprint to Election Day.

Monday (October 29): Vermont Senate debate; Kentucky 6th Congressional District debate; New York 19th Congressional District debate; Wisconsin 1st Congressional District debate; POLITICO Playbook event on the midterms featuring Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Ryan Costello (R-PA) in Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday (October 30): Indiana Senate debate; New York 24th Congressional District debate; Virginia 2nd Congressional District debate; POLITICO Playbook event with Vice President Mike Pence

Wednesday (October 31): President Trump holds a campaign rally in Fort Myers, FL; National Press Club Headliners Luncheon with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)

Thursday (November 1): President Trump holds a campaign rally in Columbia, MO; West Virginia Senate debateWashington Post event on the state of small business with speakers including National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow

Friday (November 2): Council on Foreign Relations event with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Smart 3 | 10/21/18

Welcome back and happy Sunday. We’re 16 days away from the midterm elections. Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” trends driving and shaping the media landscape.


1. We’re choosing the news we want to read.

Sara Fischer dives into publisher trends for Axios and finds the smart phone media market drastically shifting. Referral sources are dipping as more consumers search their own news.

Since 2017 …. Google Search on mobile has grown more than 2x, helping guide users to stories on publishers’ owned and operated channels.

The takeaway: We now choose our own news. And the future looks even more complicated, as more companies and organizations become their own publishers.


2. The vast majority of Americans rarely read POTUS Tweets.

However, that doesn’t stop @RealDonaldTrump from driving media cycles 24/7.

From the Public Affairs Council: 2018 Pulse Survey:

  • “Nearly 60% of Americans rarely or never read President Trump’s tweets, either via Twitter or the news media, and only 15% read his tweets “very often.” Among people who approve of the president’s performance, just 15% are regular readers.”
  • “So why do Trump’s social media rants draw so much attention? It’s partially because the news media magnify his comments when he says something controversial.”

The takeaway: The Twitter feed serves as the modern-day newswire for journalists. Even if the vast majority of your intended audience doesn’t follow it, you can’t ignore Twitter. Engage on the platform (because your opponents are).

3. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Gen Z (ages 13-22) will have different heroes than we’re used to. And they’re redefining who is influential in today’s market.

From The Center for Generational Kinetics:

  • “Rather than hanging posters of TV celebrities or athletes on their bedroom wall, Gen Z is following influencers on social media, and marketers need to urgently shift their efforts accordingly. In fact, the research found that 46% of Gen Z currently follows more than 10 online influencers (and 10% of Gen Z follow 50 or more!). It’s the online words—or video posts—of these digital influencers that matter most to this mobile-only generation.”
  • “According to the study, Gen Z expects to interact with brands on social media and is doing so in greater numbers than Millennials.”
The takeaway: Gen Z wants to hear from their peers and they’re going to social media conversations first to form their own opinions. As the media marketplace continues to evolve, a strong social outreach program will be necessary to reach younger generations.


Political debates and campaign rallies dominate the calendar.

Sunday (October 21): Minnesota Senate, Attorney General, and Governor’s debates; Pennsylvania Senate debate; Massachusetts Senate debate; California 39th Congressional District debate; Florida Governor’s debate

Monday (October 22): President Trump holds a campaign rally in Houston, TX; Former President Obama holds a campaign rally in Las Vegas, NV; Former Vice President Joe Biden attends a campaign rally with Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum in Jacksonville, FL; Donald Trump Jr. holds a campaign rally for West Virginia Attorney General and Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrissey in Inwood, WV; Virginia 1st Congressional District debate; New York 19th Congressional District debate; CITIZEN by CNN forum, with speakers including Jared Kushner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Michael Bloomberg

Tuesday (October 23): Former Vice President Joe Biden attends a campaign rally with Sen. Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum in Tampa, FL; Maryland 6th Congressional District debate; Illinois 12th Congressional District debate; New York 19th Congressional District debate; Wisconsin 1st Congressional District candidate forum; Georgia Governor’s debate; Colorado Governor’s debateWashington Post Transformers Space event, with speakers including Vice President Mike Pence, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA); Heritage Foundation event on free trade and the U.S. auto industry featuring keynote remarks by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Wednesday (October 24): President Trump holds a campaign rally in Mosinee, WI; New Jersey Senate debate; Michigan Governor’s debate; Florida Governor’s debate; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on nominations

Thursday (October 25): Missouri Senate debate; Wyoming Senate debate; South Carolina Governor’s debate

Friday (October 26): President Trump holds a campaign rally in Charlotte, NC; North Dakota Senate debate; Ohio Senate debate; Pennsylvania Senate debate

Smart 3 | 10/14/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Welcome back and happy Sunday. Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” topics driving and shaping the media landscape.

And we’re kicking off this week with a little S-3 work news:


1. S-3 Continues Bipartisan Growth: Adds former Bernie Sanders Chief of Staff 

S-3 added Michaeleen Crowell, who was previously chief of staff to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as a principal.

“Michaeleen brings with her decades of experience in House, Senate and from the Presidential campaign trail,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs. “She is a unique talent and will provide immediate value to our clients.  We couldn’t be more excited that she is joining our team.”

Read more about Michaeleen


2. Would Honest Abe have been a LinkedIn thought leader? 

If LinkedIn existed in the 1860s, that appears to be the case. According to the Business Insider Digital Trust Report 2018, LinkedIn takes the top spot when surveyed on consumer perception across 6 pillars of trust — security, legitimacy, community, user experience, shareability, and relevance.

The takeaway: seeing as many people invest time instead of waste time on LinkedIn, you’re much less likely to see fake news on the platform.

3. Thank you for reading this far down (you did better than a goldfish)

Seriously, thank you. This Sunday afternoon email took longer to read than the average attention span of an internet user (8 seconds!).

According to Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media by P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking:

“In 2000, the average attention span of an internet user was measured at twelve seconds. By 2015, it had shrunk to eight seconds– slightly less than the average attention span of a goldfish. An effective digital narrative, therefore, is one that can be absorbed almost instantly.”

The takeaway: Make your point quickly – right at the top. You may lose readers shortly after grabbing their attention.


Things are starting to get lighter on Capitol Hill with Congress in recess through the midterms.

Sunday (October 14): Michigan Senate debate

Monday (October 15): Arizona Senate debate; Virginia 7th Congressional District debate

Tuesday (October 16): Texas Senate debate; Pennsylvania 17th Congressional District debate

Wednesday (October 17): Delaware Senate debateWashington 8th Congressional District debateMassachusetts Governor’s debate

Thursday (October 18): USC-Brookings Schaefer Initiative event with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma; POLITICO Live event: “A Tale of Two Crises: Using Tech and Innovation to Combat Opioid Abuse and Diabetes” featuring a keynote conversion with Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb; CNN Town Hall event with Democratic Texas Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke

Friday (October 19): Massachusetts Senate debate

S-3 Continues Bipartisan Growth

Firm adds former Bernie Sanders Chief of Staff

Washington, DC – S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of Michaeleen Earle Crowell. She most recently served as Chief of Staff to US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

S-3 Public Affairs takes a holistic approach to public affairs. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategy and ultimately wins for clients.

“Michaeleen brings with her decades of experience in House, Senate and from the Presidential campaign trail,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs. “She is a unique talent and will provide immediate value to our clients.  We couldn’t be more excited that she is joining our team.”

Michaeleen served as Chief of Staff to US Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, for 5 years after serving as his Legislative Director. She also served as Senior Advisor to Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. Michaeleen was Sanders’ principal advisor on all policy, political, communications, administrative and strategic initiatives. She led the 50-person staff in developing a policy, legislative, and communications agenda which focused on economic equality and fairness, strong safety nets, democracy preservation, solutions for global warming and renewable energy, expanded care for our Veterans, and health care for all Americans.  She has led the development of a full-scale media center that has set the standard for Congressional member use of social media and video to educate the American people.  Senator Sanders’ social media communications reach over 25 million people each week and the large-scale, town-hall-style webcast productions of the office have reached as many as 1.7 million live viewers at one time.

She previously served as legal counsel for a successful mayoral and a successful congressional campaign in Georgia before going to Washington as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Denise Majette (GA-4) for two years, and then as Legislative Director for civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) for 8 years.  During her time with Congressman Lewis, Michaeleen worked on civil rights and voting rights legislation, and on health policy with a primary focus on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, health disparities, kidney disease and community health centers.

Crowell is a graduate of Boston University with a BA in Political Science and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1999.  She lives in Washington, DC with her husband James and her two children.

About S-3 Public Affairs 

Anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins, and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.


Smart 3 | 10/7/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Welcome back and happy Sunday. Each week we take a look at the “Smart 3” news items driving and shaping the media landscape.

Reminder to start stocking up on candy. You have 24 days to Halloween. 

And pop some popcorn, as we have 30 more days to Election Day.


1. If a tree falls in the middle of a confirmation hearing, does it make a sound? 

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane dives into the many bipartisan accomplishments of the U.S. Senate that have been lost among the partisan fighting and wall-to-wall media coverage of the Kavanaugh confirmation:

“The conflagration over Kavanaugh, combining Democratic unrest with Trump and the continued strength of the #MeToo movement, bulldozed into a Senate where Schumer and McConnell were trying to take small steps toward reshaping it into a place where deals get cut.
“The aviation and opioid bills were the latest examples, along with last month’s 93-to-7 vote for a bill that funded the departments of Defense and Labor, and other government agencies.”


2. Did POTUS just text 225 million people? 

On Wednesday, FEMA sent out a message testing the nationwide presidential Wireless Emergency Alert. The alert reached 225 million smart phones, which is about 75% of the population.

It also launched a million or so internet memes*.

(* numbers aren’t official)

Of course, Twitter freaked about it and some activists turned off their phone to avoid the text message altogether. Let’s remember, this was signed into law by President Obama and FEMA is mandated to test the system every three years.

Get smart on the Presidential Alert – also known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS):

TIME explains:

“The IPAWS Modernization Act, made law in 2016, requires FEMA to conduct at least one nationwide test every three years. According to FEMA, the nationwide test are to help ensure under all conditions that the President, federal agencies and state, local and tribal governments can alert and warn the civilian population in areas endangered by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters and threats to public safety.

3. The 34th annual Army Ten-Mile Race took place this morning. 

Congratulations to any of our readers who completed the Army Ten-Mile (ATM) race today. Also, a special shout to those out there who avoided the Waze traffic warnings and tried to go anywhere near downtown Washington.

Each year about 35,000 runners compete in the race. And according to our social media feeds, they immediately upload photos to Instagram as soon as they cross the finish line.


The media coverage of Congress post-Kavanaugh should slow as the Senate moves on to issues like the Water Resources Development Act when it returns on Tuesday. President Trump has political rallies planned throughout the week.

Monday (October 8): Columbus DayNational Press Club Newsmaker event with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Tuesday (October 9): President Trump holds a rally in Council Bluffs, IA; Senate vote on the Water Resources Development Act

Wednesday (October 10): President Trump holds a rally in Erie, PA; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearingon threats to the homeland, with testimony from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FBI Director Chris Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center Acting Director Russell Travers; Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on consumer data privacy and lessons from the European Union’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending nominations; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on state conservation, recovery, and wildlife management; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on U.S. Air Force readiness, with testimony from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Stephen Wilson, and John Pendleton of the Government Accountability Office; Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Social Security modernization, featuring opening keynote remarks by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX)

Thursday (October 11): Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the blackstart process for returning energy to the power grid after a system-wide blackout; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of John Pommersheim to be ambassador to Tajikistan; Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee hearing on Coast Guard and NOAA ship recapitalization and the future of fleets;

Friday (October 12): President Trump holds a rally in Lebanon, OH
Saturday (October 13): President Trump holds a rally in Richmond, KY