Tom O’Donnell co-founded Gephardt Government Affairs in 2007 and serves as the firm’s Managing Partner. His work is rooted in policy expertise that spans three decades and in his experience as a pivotal player in negotiations with the White House, Congress, and key industry stakeholders.
In his current role, O’Donnell represents Fortune 500 clients, small companies, and coalitions on both legislative and regulatory issues on Capitol Hill and before the Administration. His focus is on a wide range of issues, including energy, financial services, healthcare, trade, tax, defense, and intellectual property protection and enforcement. He also directs clients in their outreach to organized labor based on his longtime experience liaising with union leadership. In 2015, he led a coalition consisting of 100’s of companies to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank which has been described as one of the “top lobbying victories of 2015.”
O’Donnell served as chief of staff to House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt from 1989-1997. During his tenure, O’Donnell built strong relationships across Capitol Hill and was Gephardt’s lead strategist and field general for, among other landmark fiscal and budgetary pieces of legislation, the Budget Summit Agreement of 1990 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.
From 1997-2007, O’Donnell served as a partner at Doak, Carrier, O’Donnell and Goldman (DCO), a leading political consulting media firm, where he developed messages for key constituencies and directed broadcast media blitzes to produce wins for, among other current Hill leaders, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Senate Banking Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH). He is also well-versed in the California political landscape having worked on winning campaigns for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Governor Gray Davis.
- O’Donnell earned a Doctorate in Philosophy from American University and a Bachelors in Political Science from SUNY Brockport. A Brooklyn native, he is married to Caroline Fawcett and has three children.
- In the course of his public service, O’Donnell has been touted as a “star consultant” by the Washington Post and was recognized each year by Roll Call during his tenure as Gephardt’s chief of staff.
- At Gephardt Government Affairs, O’Donnell is regularly named to annual “top lobbyists” lists by leading Washington trade publications.