Board of Directors

The Government Relations Association is led by nine Officers and Directors. These dedicated volunteer individuals contribute their valuable time, effort, and resources to ensure the association serves its members honorably and fulfills its mission.

GRA's 2017 Board of Directors:


James J. Hickey
President

James Hickey is Vice President for Government Affairs for Day & Zimmermann, a family of companies dedicated to accelerating customer success by delivering trusted services and products to both its commercial and government clients. Day & Zimmermann, in business since 1901, is the 53rd largest privately-held, family-owned business in the US. It employs 24,000 professionals and conducts over $2.7 billion in annual revenues by providing industrial, defense and workforce solutions.  Day & Zimmermann is headquartered in Philadelphia.

Mr. Hickey has been the VP of Government Affairs and head of the Washington office of Day & Zimmermann since 2004.  Prior to that, he worked for the Raytheon Company for 14 years, leaving as Director of Congressional Affairs. He originally came to Washington in 1986 serving first for a Member of the House of Representatives (Congressman Herb Bateman; VA-1) from 1986-89 where he handled a portfolio that included defense, foreign affairs, and intelligence issues, and then served as staff in the Senate (Senator Pete Domenici) in 1990 where his portfolio was primarily defense and energy authorization and appropriations.

Jim has regularly taught Government Relations and Congressional Affairs over the past 25 years and has been a speaker on the topic for a number of seminars and conferences worldwide.  He resides in northern Virginia with his wife Cindy and son Ethan Hunter.



Lynne Jones Batshon
Officer
Lynne Jones Batshon is the Director of Policy & Practice for The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). Lynne oversees and executes the activities that define the society’s legislative and regulatory agendas. She also established and manages SHEA’s grassroots program. Lynne serves as the primary staff liaison to stakeholder coalitions in infectious diseases, public health, and other healthcare policy communities. She also provides SHEA’s leadership with strategic guidance for executing SHEA’s policy initiatives and messaging.

Prior to SHEA, Lynne served as the Director of Policy & Advocacy for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists where she was responsible for overseeing the society’s policy agenda and grassroots program. She was also the director of the ASCP Political Action Committee. Lynne also previously worked for the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) where she provided compliance and regulatory support on EPA and FDA regulations for specialty chemical manufacturers. She represented active pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturers on issues related to drug ingredient quality and drug import safety. Lynne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Economics from Allegheny College.


Emil Pitkin
Officer

Emil Pitkin is the CEO of GovPredict, the platform government relations professionals rely on to maximize their influence. GovPredict serves trade associations, corporations, federal agencies, Congressional offices, campaigns, lobby firms, and opposition research firms. Spanning the federal, state, and local verticals, with coverage of legislation, regulations, social media, grassroots, and PAC development, GovPredict has been called the first true one stop shop in DC. It is headquartered in the Hall of the States in Washington, DC.

Dr. Pitkin co-founded GovPredict, which was groomed in Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator program, in 2014. Prior to that, he earned his PhD in Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the faculty of the Wharton school, teaching statistics to approximately 250 MBA students every year. He has won multiple teaching awards in that role.

For further information on the products of GovPredict, please visit our website at www.govpredict.com.



Lydia Borland
Officer
Lydia Borland has more than 30 years of public and private sector experience in international business and government relations, but she approaches each project with the enthusiasm and energy of an eager novice.  Her success record on behalf of clients speaks for itself, that is why LBIS clients prefer this boutique firm over larger firms.

Lydia helps identify investment opportunities and organize political fundraising campaigns, including Turkish American Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraisers.  Lydia played an important role in establishing the Turkish American PACs, which have empowered Turkish Americans in the political arena.  She advocates on behalf of US-Turkish relations and Turkish companies.  She assists in growing the Congressional Turkey Caucus and provides strategic direction for lobbying contract.  Members of Congress and congressional staff regularly reach out to her for guidance on issues affecting the region.

LBIS has also advocated on behalf of other groups in Washington DC.  Borland has a keen understanding of how US policy can reflect the views of businesses and the non-profit community. She is currently President of LB International Solutions, LLC, an international consulting firm, which provides consulting services to The Gephardt Group, The Livingston Group, and other companies. She has also been a Washington Representative for a military aircraft parts supply company, and a lobbyist with the Embassy of Turkey since 1989.

Borland served as Washington Representative for the Turkish-U.S. Business Council (TAIK/DEIK) from 2000-2007 and Deputy Executive Director of the U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce for several years.  In addition to Turkish, Borland speaks fluent Spanish, Italian, Azerbaijani, and French. She earned a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University and a M.B.A. in Finance from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Borland has successfully created and managed campaigns to secure financial assistance and favorable legislation for U.S. and non-U.S. clients. She facilitates international business development for U.S. companies and for non-U.S. companies in the U.S. Additionally, she has experience in trade promotion and market development, helping businesses identify and partner with international companies.  She currently is working to develop international trade and investment between Native American tribes and Italian or Turkish companies.

Borland established and manages political PACs to support members of Congress and candidates who support client issues. She meets with political candidates to evaluate their positions and advocate on issues and organize fundraisers for members of Congress and candidates. She has an extensive network in Congress, the Administration, the diplomatic community, and business circles.

Before establishing LB International Solutions, Borland was executive director of Caspian Group LLC between 2001 and 2013. She managed Caspian Group clients and contractors. She lobbied the Natural Resources Committee for the successful passage of HR2326, a bill sponsored by Congressman Tom Cole titled: Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act of 2011.  The bill would facilitate economic development by Indian tribes and encourage investment by Turkish enterprises. The issues it sought to relieve were addressed in other passed legislation.



Bill McCann
Officer
William McCann is the Chief Operating Officer of Strategic Marketing Innovations (SMI), a leading government relations and federal marketing company that supports companies, universities and research institutes secure federal funding for research and development as well as achieve public policy goals.  With over ten years of experience on Capitol Hill, Mr. McCann served as Chief of Staff and Military Legislative Assistant to a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Mr. McCann holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Government from Georgetown University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with an emphasis in Corporate Strategy.


Kyle Oliver
Officer

Kyle Oliver is a principal with BlueWater Strategies, the premiere bipartisan business and governmental affairs consulting firm specializing in energy, environment, and natural resources issues in D.C.  He has extensive experience working with Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress, including key energy and natural resources, tax writing and authorizing committees, as well as top officials at the White House, the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy, and the EPA.  More importantly Kyle is highly regarded for his policy and commercial expertise, and has demonstrated the ability to build strong coalitions and make fair deals.  BlueWater is highly successful because they win arguments based on the fusion of good policy and good politics, enhance our clients’ reputations, and are trusted in Congress and the Administration.

BlueWater represents a select group of U.S. and international clients, including some of the largest nuclear power, oil and gas, electric utility, water districts, energy technology, and infrastructure companies.  They also represent natural resource companies with mining, timber, conservation, and agricultural interests, and provides pro bono assistance to a number of sportsmen and conservation organizations.

Prior to his time at BlueWater, Kyle spent ten years on Capitol Hill serving as Legislative Director and Chief Policy Advisor to Congressman Ralph Hall, the Dean of the Texas delegation. Kyle was professional staff on the Energy and Environment Subcommittee while Hall was Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  He also handled the Congressman’s Energy and Commerce portfolio, focusing on energy and environment issues. 

Kyle is on the board of the Texas State Society, where he serves on multiple committees, including the Black Tie and Boots Committee, which organizes the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Gala in Washington D.C. He also serves on the board of “Lobbyists 4 Good,” a nonprofit organization that crowdfunds lobbying for issues that are underrepresented in Washington and meant to benefit all people, especially those without a strong voice.

Kyle hails from Texas, where he was born, raised, and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin. He spent two years in Montana and started a small business that helped to prevent forest fires on private lands. Kyle is an avid basketball player, and helps the Hoops for Youth Foundation put on the annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game that raises money for local kids in the D.C. community.  Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife Aaricka, his daughter Chancellor, and Golden Retriever Ranger.  



Susan Harber
Officer

Susan Harber is a Director of Washington Operations for Textron Inc., a $13.8 billion multi-industry company with approximately 36,000 employees worldwide.  Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Beechcraft, Bell Helicopter, Cessna, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, Textron Off Road, Textron Systems and TRU Simulation + Training.  The company leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative products and services.  Textron is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Ms. Harber joined the Washington office of Textron in 2004.  Prior to that, she spent 14 years on Capitol Hill working as the military legislative assistant for Congressman Bob Stump (AZ-03) who was Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and later chaired the House Armed Services Committee.  Following his retirement from Congress in 2002, Ms. Harber was on the startup staff of a freshman member from Arizona serving as his senior legislative assistant for veteran, military and foreign affairs issues.

Ms. Harber is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona and earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix.  She has been a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America and has participated in six 2-day, 39.3 mile walks in support of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, personally raising more than $12,000.  Ms. Harber currently serves as the President of the Executive Board of the D.C. Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic organization providing educational assistance to women worldwide.  She resides in northern Virginia with her children, Hunter and Katie.



Lilia Ramirez
Officer
Ms. Lilia Ramirez is Vice President for Government Relations for Smith Group since October 2017. She is responsible for developing and implementing legislative and political strategies and programs to support MD initiatives and promote company interests in the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies.  MD, part of Safran Group, is a world leader in solutions and services that help secure aviation, ports, borders, critical infrastructure, military operations and high-value assets. In 2015 Lilia succeeded in guiding two key pieces of legislation, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Acquisition Reform Act and the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act, through the Senate and on to the President for signature. The Acts directly affect MD’s ability to market its products to the federal government and to anticipate security technology requirements. Lilia leads efforts in funding and managing the MD Political Action Committee (PAC) which enables MD participation in the political process. She also leads MD’s promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the Newark, CA and Andover, MA communities, assisting promising students to pursue technical degrees in college and providing paths for these students to accept internships at MD facilities.

Lilia has previously served as Director of the International Cooperative Programs Office at the Department of Homeland Security (Science and Technology) and as Director for Fleet Forces and International Liaison at the Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research.  Lilia also served at the Raytheon Company as Director for Congressional Relations where she represented Navy/Marine Corps and Intelligence programs. She is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and the Inter-American Defense College.  In her 23-year Navy career, Lilia served at sea, at the US European Command and the Pentagon, and in a variety of leadership positions.  She retired from the Navy in the rank of Commander.  Lilia is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Trustee of the US Naval Academy Foundation.

She is married to Commander Randall Lovdahl, USN (retired), who teaches math and science at Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church, Virginia. Their daughter, LT Bianca Lovdahl, USN, is completing a Masters degree in Space Systems Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Their son, 2nd LT Beau Lovdahl, USA, serves in the Virginia National Guard and is a Mechanical Engineer at Dahlgren, Virginia.
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Cliff W. Andrews
Board Member
Cliff Andrews has 18 years of political experience as a federal legislative strategist and advocate. Currently, he heads CapCity Advocates, LLC a federal government relations business that he started in 2004. 

Previously, Mr. Andrews served as the Director of Government Relations for Butera & Andrews, a Washington D.C. law firm. Prior to working at Butera & Andrews, he was a staffer for Senator Harry Reid. He also worked in the financial services sector for Equitable and New York Life, where he secured investments and insurance for small businesses and families.

Mr. Andrews works in a bipartisan manner before many different House and Senate Committees, and he maintains strong Republican, Democratic, and Leadership relationships. He offers extensive experience in legislative issues management and coalition management for trade associations and corporations. In particular, he consults with clients on advocacy plans, legislative and regulatory conferences and fly-ins, policy paper and testimony preparation, policy issue monitoring, grassroots and grasstops development, PAC strategy, and building strategic relationships with third party groups.

Among other issues, Mr. Andrews worked on privacy, data, security, mortgage lending standards, RESPA reform. GSE oversight, annuity regulations and taxation, financial professional standards of care, small dollar lending regulation, industrial loan company regulation, federal usury standards, independent contractor regulation, advertising regulations, estate tax reform, business property depreciation rules,, minimum wage standards, financial literacy, hospital development, FMLA, and immigration reform.

He has successfully represented the National Association for Fixed Annuities, the National Pawnbrokers Association, the Promotional Products Association International, the Coalition for Fair and Affordable Lending, FM Watch, Option One Mortgage, Taco Bell franchisees, and Surgical Development Partners among others.

Mr. Andrews holds a Master's in Political Management degree from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University. He is a true "Washingtonian," born and raised in the nation's capital. Mr. Andrews lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, son, and Alaskan Malamute.