Kevin O'Neill, chair of the Legislative & Public Policy practice group, helps clients understand and navigate federal legislative and executive complexities in order to further their business objectives. He is experienced in representing Fortune 500 corporations, other domestic and foreign corporations, associations, healthcare systems, universities, units of local governments, and foreign sovereigns. Kevin's clients span several sectors of the economy, including trade, technology, tax and financial services, federal funding healthcare, education, transportation, and local government. Kevin has been recognized for several years by a leading publication as one of Washington's top lobbyists and, under his leadership, the firm's Legislative & Public Policy practice group was recognized by both Chambers USA and Bloomberg Government as one of the nation's best such practices.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Kevin has been engaged in helping major corporations and associations in industries as varied as technology, entertainment and travel, education, healthcare, financial services, energy, and transportation seek specific legislative relief in Congress and the executive branch. Teams led by Kevin have succeeded in helping clients secure meaningful legislative and executive branch victories that have helped companies and industries stay afloat in these extraordinary times.
In his work with medical professionals and healthcare providers, Kevin has helped pursue policy changes to improve both patient experience and maintain the quality of the nation's medical workforce. He also represents a number of hospitals across the country in seeking federal support for infrastructure improvements, treatment of special populations, expansion of outreach programs and alterations to federal funding policies that negatively influence specific operational objectives.
In the tax and financial services sector, Kevin has helped companies and associations develop long-term campaigns to advocate for specific policies in comprehensive tax reform legislation and the Dodd-Frank Act. He has also advocated before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on behalf of companies and associations affected by rulemakings before that agency.
In the education area, Kevin has helped universities pursue a range of policy issues in areas as diverse as agriculture, foreign relations, workforce development, healthcare, transportation, export controls, collegiate athletics, campus safety and export controls. He also has experience helping institutions of higher education pursue federal research funding for innumerable topic areas. Kevin has also regularly represented educational companies as they advocate for education policy that keeps pace with the evolving needs of students.
Kevin has extensive experience in the areas of transportation. This work includes representing transportation entities as they partner with the federal government to address growing infrastructure challenges nationwide. His clients have secured more than US$3 billion in federal infrastructure funding in the last 15 years for development of new highway, transit, and bike infrastructure projects.
Kevin is the co-founder and current executive director of the nation's largest bipartisan federal political action committee (PAC) dedicated exclusively to the policy interests of college students and higher education. In the fall of 2007, Kevin was a candidate for the Republican nomination in a special election in Virginia's First Congressional District. In 2012, he was a volunteer fundraiser for the Romney-Ryan campaign. In 2004, he was one of the youngest major fundraisers for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. In 2001, he was part of a team of lawyers that served as legal counsel for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. In December 2013, Kevin was appointed to the Virginia Public Building Authority by Governor Bob McDonnell.
- Advocated for specific issues in major recent legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, several transportation reauthorizations, reauthorizations of elementary and higher education laws, tax extenders and annual appropriations bills.
- Represented a scientific and higher education association to help restore full funding for a major NASA research program scheduled for closing by two successive Presidential Administrations.
- Sought specific technology-based changes to education law on behalf of several education clients.
- Assisted a financial services association implement a long-term strategy for regulatory action related to Dodd-Frank implementation.
- Helped a leading transit agency secure more than US$2 billion in direct federal funding for construction of major new infrastructure improvements.
- Aided a top research university in developing new research facilities supported by federal infrastructure funds.
- Pursued consumer-driven improvements to the Affordable Care Act in support of a medical professional association.
- Worked with healthcare systems on legislative reforms to complex care for children.
- Developed and executed political advocacy and support campaigns for association, corporate and issues-based Political Action Committees.
- Executed a strategy to help a financial services industry professional association establish its first government relations program and begin to become a trusted advisor to Congressional and executive branch policymakers on a range of issues.
- Pursued placement of federal facilities on behalf of various municipal governments.
- Served as pro bono legislative counsel to fraternities and sororities, representing the interests of college students in higher education policy debates. Kevin's efforts have led to awards from several organizations including the North American Interfraternity Conference, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Chi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi and Zeta Beta Tau.
Government Relations (2017-2022)
- J.D., William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, 1999
- B.A., Syracuse University, 1992
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Appointee, Virginia Public Building Authority (2013)