Our Team

Our firm combines decades of legislative experience, knowledge of the federal legislative process, and a trusted reputation on Capitol Hill to design and implement innovative strategies that help our clients achieve their federal legislative goals. 

The Honorable Barbara B. Kennelly

Barbara Bailey Kennelly is the President and founder of Barbara Kennelly Associates.  She represented Connecticut’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 years, handily winning elections nine times with a combination of strong constituent service and labor support. 

 

While in the House, Mrs. Kennelly rose through the leadership ranks as Chief Majority Whip and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.  She was also elected to the position of Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, which made her the highest ranking Democratic woman at that time.  She was only the third woman in history to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and the first woman to serve on the House Intelligence Committee.  Although she was a key member of the Democratic leadership, she also served at a time when bi-partisanship was an important element of legislative success.  She developed relationships with Republican Members of Congress and used her considerable communications skills to bridge the partisan divide on issues important to her constituency.

 

After serving in Congress, she was appointed to the position of Counselor to the Commissioner at the Social Security Administration. She served on the Policy Committee for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and was appointed to the Social Security Advisory Board by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2006 and reappointed in 2012.  Mrs. Kennelly recently completed nine years as President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, an organization representing almost 4 million seniors and their advocates. 

 

During her many years in Democratic politics, Mrs. Kennelly has worked with progressive organizations and the labor movement in a broad range of capacities.  She comes from a family steeped in Democratic politics.  Her father, John Moran Bailey, was the dominant figure in Connecticut politics for over two decades.  He served as head of the Connecticut Democratic Party as well as the Democratic National Committee during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. 

 

Mrs. Kennelly’s husband, James Kennelly, served in the Connecticut House for over a dozen years, including four as Speaker, and was known as a brilliant parliamentarian, an eloquent debater and a forceful advocate for his constituents in southwest Hartford.  Mrs. Kennelly began her political career as her husband’s partner and chief facilitator, campaigning with him during each of his elections.  She subsequently won election in her own right to the Hartford Court of Common Council and served as Secretary of the State of Connecticut prior to her election to the U.S. House. 

 

Today, in addition to her lobbying activities, Mrs. Kennelly is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Trinity Washington University and is the President of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress.  She also serves on several boards, including the Social Security Advisory Board and the Board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).  As part of the IFES Board, she observed recent elections in Egypt and has traveled as part of Congressional outreach missions to countries all over the world. 

 

Mrs. Kennelly received a bachelor’s in economics from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. and a master’s degree in government from Trinity College, Hartford.  She earned a certificate from the Harvard Business School on completion of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in business administration.

Maria P. Freese, Esq.

Maria Freese brings a significant set of skills to any client, having served as a staffer on Capitol Hill for almost two decades. Her experience includes six years handling Appropriations issues for former Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) during which time she also successfully defended the Sixth Congressional Districts’ interests during negotiations on the Washington Wilderness bill, shepherding to passage a compromise permanently protecting the Clearwater roadless area.

 

Ms. Freese also served as Legislative Director for L.F. Payne (D-VA), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and as Tax Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee under the Chairmanship of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT). During the latter, she successfully represented Committee Democrats in negotiating and drafting both the pension and estate tax titles to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, including a new tax credit for retirement savings (SAVER’s Credit) and significant reforms of pension laws. Ms. Freese also successfully managed the individual portions of the Victims of Terrorism Relief Act, including the enactment of structured settlement legislation.

 

After leaving the Hill, Ms. Freese served as Director of Government Relations and Counsel for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare for seven years. Her expertise lies in strategic planning of legislative initiatives, development of legislation and building advocacy coalitions. She has served as liaison to grassroots and grasstops lobbying efforts, participated in various coalitions focused on expanding retirement security at both the federal and state levels, coordinated polling projects and worked with local and national press. She is an experienced public speaker and effective advocate both on and off Capitol Hill having frequently providing expert commentary on policy and politics for major media outlets including USA Today, C-Span, National Journal, Washington Post, Pacifica Radio Network, The Hill, and MSNBC.

 

Ms. Freese received her undergraduate degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Terry Lee Freese

Mr. Freese brings a broad and extensive career in policy development and advocacy to our firm.  He has 18 years of experience on Capitol Hill, as associate staff on the House Appropriations Committee and Legislative Director for Congressman Norm Dicks.  His primary focus was on defense appropriations and federal employee issues.  His accomplishments included promoting nuclear arms control policies, spearheading negotiations between contractors and federal employee unions on competitive bid procedures under OMB guidelines, and developing policies for incremental modular funding for Department of Defense medical facilities.

 

Between 1995 and 2001, he served as a presidentially appointed Deputy Director of the Office of Worker and Community Transition at the Department of Energy.  In this role he coordinated workforce transition plans between contractors, unions and elected officials covering pension, retraining, severance and employment assistance issues that affected over 50,000 employees.

 

Subsequently Mr. Freese spent five years as a Legislative Director for a major trade association, the Nuclear Energy Institute, with a particular focus on spent nuclear fuel issues.   This range of experience allows him to understand varied perspectives, promote consensus and achieve practical solutions on a wide range of issues. 

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