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Meet Ilisa.

Mom to Twin Boys, Former Senate Staffer, Keen Advocacy Strategist

Ilisa Halpern Paul President
  • (202) 230-5145

Ilisa Halpern Paul leads the District Policy Group and has more than 25 years of experience in federal government relations, lobbying, advocacy, and legislative and regulatory policymaking. Ilisa has a wide-range of issue expertise, including health care financing and delivery system reform, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, digital health, home health, public health, behavioral health, federal budget and appropriations, the Affordable Care Act and other health care reform efforts. Her work has earned her the recognition as one of The Hill's Top Lobbyists of 2015 – 2018, as well as a feature story in The Hill regarding her rise to success.

Ilisa works with clients to establish and strengthen relationships with elected officials and federal agencies, develop and implement innovative government relations and advocacy programs, craft effective grassroots campaigns, establish coalitions and third-party stakeholder partnerships, and affect the outcomes of appropriations measures, authorizing legislation and federal regulatory actions. Ilisa is particularly skilled in creating innovative messaging, tactics, and materials in support of her clients’ policy goals. She helps her clients by bringing traditional and nontraditional partners to the table in support of common goals, fostering relationships with members of Congress and their staff, and collaborating with the administration and federal agencies.

Ilisa also has a long record of success in leading clients through government relations strategic planning processes and designing advocacy programs that meet internal organizational goals and advance policy issues on the national agenda. Her clients commend her for her strategic insight and highlight her ability to “look around the corner” to anticipate the federal policy challenges and opportunities of the future as one of her greatest assets.

Ilisa is a frequently sought-after speaker and regularly delivers keynote addresses, moderates panel discussions, facilitates roundtable meetings, and presents at briefings, meetings, conferences, and to webinar audiences. Her presentations receive the highest marks and her audiences comment that she provides insightful political and policy analyses in an easy-to-access manner, with good humor and practical information to help them better understand and navigate the current policy environment.

Ilisa previously served as Director of Federal Government Relations for the American Cancer Society and as Director of Federal Affairs with the American Public Health Association. Ilisa’s policy career commenced on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at UCLA and a master's of public policy degree from Georgetown University's School of Public Policy. Originally from California, Ilisa planned to become a doctor, but found her health care niche after doing a policy internship in D.C. Ilisa lives with her husband, Scott, and their twin boys in Bethesda, Maryland. On the weekends, when not attending soccer games and fencing classes with her sons, Ilisa takes drums lessons and practices yoga.