Joel Kassiday serves as Vice President of HillStaffer, and leads strategy development and senior advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and within Federal agencies. Mr. Kassiday is a Capitol Hill veteran who brings an insider’s perspective and vast public affairs expertise to HillStaffer and its clients.
Prior to HillStaffer, Mr. Kassiday spent three decades on Capitol Hill as a top aide to four U.S. House members and two U.S. senators. He was Chief of Staff for former Representatives Elton Gallegy of California, Rick Lazio of New York and Hank Brown of Colorado; he also served as Brown’s Administrative Assistant in the U.S. Senate, and as Press Secretary to former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and former Rep. James P. Johnson of Colorado. During his career Mr. Kassiday served on the staff of the House Budget Committee and the House International Relations Committee.
In 1985, Mr. Kassiday received the American Rivers Conservation Council Congressional Staff Award for his work in passing legislation creating Colorado’s first wild and scenic river. Working with the House Ways and Means staff, he helped with House welfare reform efforts, resulting in passage of Family Assistance Act of 1988. Mr. Kassiday also put together a coalition of media, conservatives and environmentalists that started the effort that eventually resulted in the repeal of the Synthetic Fuels Corporation; assisted in the successful effort to help obtain the release of U.S. hostage Thomas Sutherland from Lebanon (1985 – 1991), including traveling twice to Middle East to meet with top officials of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen; and, played a direct role in the Senate Foreign Relations Terrorism Subcommittee’s investigation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
In addition to his accomplishments on Capitol Hill, Mr. Kassiday has been a lobbyist for some of the largest firms in the world as Legislative Director at Liz Robbins Associates, including the H. J. Heinz Company, Thomson Corporation, Reed Elsevier and its Lexis-Nexis subsidiary. He also worked as congressional affairs director at the non-profit Republican Jewish Coalition. Mr. Kassiday began his career as an award-winning journalist after graduating with “high distinction” and Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado State University.
Mr. Kassiday and his wife, an internationally known artist with work in museums and other major collections, live in Kensington, Md.