Former Congressman Alan Wheat (D-MO) joined national law firm Polsinelli effective immediately. In addition, Wheat will become the chair and lead the firm’s national Public Policy Practice beginning November 1 and former Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) will serve as vice-chair. Wheat, who served 12 years in the House of Representatives, became the youngest member in Congressional history to be appointed to the important Rules Committee which reviews every major piece of legislation. Wheat remains a highly regarded figure in Washington among his peers and former colleagues, many of whom now occupy Washington’s senior leadership positions both on Capitol Hill and with the Administration.
“We’re very excited to welcome Alan to Polsinelli,” said James Davidson, Washington, D.C. office managing partner. “We value his enduring and meaningful relationships on The Hill, his significant career efforts in health care, and his mild-mannered yet effective way of getting things done in Washington, D.C.”
Missouri voters elected Wheat to the House of Representatives in 1982 and he was quickly recognized as a strong political leader and coalition builder. The Wall Street Journal called Wheat a “political star” and Time Magazine referred to him as a “bright and able leader for a new generation of African-American elected officials.” After his Senate race, he became the vice president of Public Policy and Government Relations with CARE, one of the largest and most vital global relief and development organizations. Prior to joining Polsinelli he led Wheat Government Relations (WheatGR) which he founded in 1997.
“Our clients across the country will benefit from Alan’s experience as a member of Congress, and his 15 years of lobbying and public policy experience,” said Polsinelli Chairman Russ Welsh. “Alan will provide great leadership and direction to our firm’s Public Policy Practice and the various industry clients we represent, especially our health care clients who will benefit from his health care experience. With three former Members of Congress our firm has great access on both sides of the aisle and real depth of expertise at this important time. We are very excited to welcome Alan to the firm.”
The firm’s Washington, D.C. office includes seasoned lawyers in addition to its Public Policy Practice, which includes former Congressmen Martin Frost (D-TX) and Kenny Hulshof (R-MO), along with highly experienced senior policy advisors who serve as strong advocates for the firm’s clients.
Wheat’s colleague, Julie Shroyer, who served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of WheatGR, will also join Polsinelli as a senior policy advisor. With more than 25 years of government relations experience, Shroyer is in daily contact with Washington’s leading health care experts on Capitol Hill, in regulatory agencies, and national organizations. Her long-term relationships with health and education policy decision makers allow her to be a forceful voice for the interests of our clients.
Before joining WheatGR, Shroyer was a Vice-President of Capitol Associates with clients including health professional associations, medical research coalitions, and a large research university. She was also Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs at the American Psychiatric Association where she worked on mental health reform. Shroyer got her start on Capitol Hill as a Professional Staff member for the House Select Committee on Children under Chairman George Miller (D-CA).
“We think Polsinelli provides a strong platform for our clients with its established Public Policy Practice, and its national Health Care Practice, and transactional and regulatory experience,” said Wheat. “Our bipartisan team at Polsinelli includes three former Members of Congress and former senior Congressional and Administration staff and allows us to serve our clients well and to significantly enhance our policy and advocacy efforts.”
Because of their significant health care experience both Wheat and Shroyer will also become members of Polsinelli’s prominent Health Care Practice, ranked as the country’s fourth largest by both Modern Healthcare Magazine and the American Health Lawyers Association.
Wheat’s colleague Rachel Stevenson also moves to Polsinelli as a legislative director. Before joining Wheat GR in 2010, Stevenson spent over three and a half years working on Capitol Hill as a key staffer to Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI).
Polsinelli will relocate to Franklin Square September 20 to handle the expanding Public Policy Practice. The new office will occupy two floors in the recently renovated building at Franklin Tower.
The addition of former Congressman Wheat and staff occurs during a particularly exciting period of growth for Polsinelli which was named the “fastest growing law firm in America for the past five years,” according to The American Lawyer. Polsinelli moved up to 69th from 78th according to a ranking of the largest law firms published in The National Law Journal. Modern Healthcare and The American Health Lawyers Association recognized the firm’s Health Care Practice as the fourth largest in the country. Wheat and Shroyer will also be members of the Health Care Practice in addition to the national Public Policy Practice. The firm was featured in the June issue of The American Lawyer.
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