Ilisa Halpern Paul

President, District Policy Group
Phone: (202) 230-5145 (202) 230-5145
Fax: (202) 842-8465


Ilisa Halpern Paul, MPP, has more than 25 years of experience in federal government relations, lobbying, advocacy, and legislative and regulatory policymaking in for-profit, nonprofit, academic, federally funded, and government settings. She leads the firm’s Lobbying, Policy and Advocacy team and is president of the firm’s District Policy Group.

Recognized by The Hill as a Top Lobbyist for the past several years, Ilisa has deep experience and command of a wide range of issues, including health care financing and delivery system reform, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Affordable Care Act, digital health and telemedicine, home health, public health, behavioral health, and the federal budget and appropriations processes.

Ilisa advises for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations with respect to advancing their federal legislative, regulatory, programmatic, policy, and business goals. She works with clients to establish and strengthen relationships with elected officials and federal agencies, develop and implement 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; bringing traditional and nontraditional partners to the table in support of common goals; fostering relationships with members of Congress and their staffs; and collaborating with administration and federal agency staff. She 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 and elevate policy issues on the national agenda. Clients highly value her strategic insight and ability to anticipate federal policy challenges and opportunities.

Ilisa is a highly sought-after speaker, panelist, meeting facilitator, advocacy trainer, and moderator who regularly delivers keynote addresses, leads panel discussions, and presents at conferences and webinars.

Prior to her work as a government relations consultant, Ilisa served as director of federal government Relations for the American Cancer Society and also worked as director of federal affairs with the American Public Health Association (APHA). Ilisa began her Washington, D.C. career working on the policy staff of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein following research assistant positions with Adeza Biomedical and the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program.


With more than 20 years in Washington, DC policy work, Ilisa brings significant experience with respect to navigating the federal policymaking environment. In her work, Ilisa:

  • Represents and advances the interests of numerous private companies, non-profit organizations, trade associations, and voluntary agencies.
  • Secures programmatic funding, authorizing legislation, and legislative and regulatory remedies to achieve clients’ federal public policy goals, particularly in the health care arena.
  • Counsels and represents clients with respect to legislative, regulatory, and grassroots advocacy efforts.
  • Proactively identifies threats and opportunities and, in response, designs and implements action plans to protect and advance clients’ interests.
  • Represents clients before – and facilitates relationships with – Congressional Members and staff, White House and federal agency staff, coalition partners, and other third-party stakeholders.
  • Develops advocacy materials including, draft legislation, report language, Congressional testimony, fact sheets, issue briefs, position papers, Congressional and federal agency correspondence, bill and regulatory analyses, government relations strategic plans, policy agendas, advocacy action alerts, regulatory comments, speeches, articles, and newsletters.
  • Designs grassroots and grasstops advocacy campaigns, devises branding and messaging for advocacy initiatives, and undertakes strategic partnerships and coalitions in support of such campaigns.
  • Plans and executes various client advocacy events including advocacy trainings and workshops, Congressional briefings, Capitol Hill lobby days, coalition meetings, policy summits, and strategic planning retreats.
  • Delivers presentations, speeches, and webinar remarks on topics, such as the Supreme Court review of health care reform, election outlook and outcomes, Congressional trends and happenings, and use of social media in advocacy.
  • Facilitates panel discussions, policy conferences, seminars, and other meetings.
  • Writes a monthly column for The Morning Consult as an opinion-editorial contributor.


Top Lobbyists, The Hill (2015-2018)
William N. Reich Outstanding Achievement Award, American Association of Bioanalysts and National Independent Laboratory Association (2009)
Young Alumni of the Year, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority (2007)

Awards Methodology (



  • Georgetown University, M.P.P.
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., English Literature


  • Morning Consult, Op-Ed Contributor (2014-Present)
  • American Public Health Association
  • Women in Government Relations
  • Give an Hour, Executive Board Member (2006-2011)
  • Hematology Oncology News & Issues, Editorial Advisory Board (2004-2011)