William Canary, Principal
With over 40 years of experience in leadership and public service at the national level, Canary provides the strategic insight needed to help organizations succeed. He leverages his vast knowledge of public policy, leadership coaching, crisis management, and government to provide solutions that allow organizations to meet their strategic objectives. He is also known nationally as a Federal, State and Local Governmental expert as it relates to public policy, regulatory reform and strategic alliances.
He began his professional career in New York, where he made an early name for himself in the political arena, winning several elected positions in the Long Island area. Recognized for his integrity, ability to solve complex problems, and collaborative leadership style, he soon gained the attention of top political leaders in Washington, which led to key appointments in the White House as a Special Assistant to President George H. W. Bush for Intergovernmental Affairs and Chief of Staff for the Republic National Committee.
Over his career, he has been an advocate for businesses and champion of economic growth, holding roles as CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and President and CEO of the American Trucking Association. Currently, he is a Senior Fellow for the United States Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as a thought leader on matters related to business, the Federation and the economy. He also serves as a Faculty member for the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management (IOM). His IOM courses include Effective Government Affairs Program and Advocacy and Alliances.
His strong knowledge of business, economics, and politics makes him an asset to executives and organizational leaders seeking professional and trustworthy advisory to solve complex challenges. Bill was a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100 and served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Manufacturer’s State Associations Group. Canary also served on the Alabama School Readiness Alliance’s Pre-K Task Force and continues to serve on the Advisory Board of ReadyNation.
He is also a contributor and co-author of The Next New Start (2015), Unfinished Business (2016), Time And Again (2017) and the author of Leadership… No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.
Canary is a graduate of State University of New York at Oneonta and holds a Juris Doctor from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Touro College in New York. He and his wife, Leura have two adult children, Will and Margaret. They reside in Montgomery, Alabama.
William Booher, Principal and C.O.O.
Bill has a broad background as a senior executive in both the private and public sectors. He served as Executive Vice president, Chief Operating Officer, and Treasurer of the Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan Washington D.C. think tank, for ten years. Bill served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy at the US Department of Commerce as an appointee in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush and served as Vice Chairman of the arena for the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas and was a member of the Private sector Host Committee for the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
His private sector career includes senior executive public affairs positions with the Miller Brewing Company and its Parent Corporation, Philip Morris, Inc., as well as Lone Star Steel Company. Bill began his career as a radio and television news reporter with the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee, while pursuing his BA degree in Broadcast Management at the University of Tennessee. He moved from broadcasting into politics and government in 1973, serving as Press Secretary and primary spokesperson for elected officials including the Mayor of Knoxville, the North Carolina Commissioner of Labor, and Tennessee US Senator William Brock.
Meggan Abboud, Grass Roots, Grasstops and Issue Advocacy
Meggan is an 18 year veteran of Boeing where she served as Corporate Vice President for Constituent Relations, Business Development, and International Trade Policy. While at Boeing, she is renowned for creating the business community’s first supplier advocacy program, engaging some of the nation’s largest manufacturers and suppliers both domestically and abroad as well as small and disadvantaged businesses. She is a pioneer in third-party advocacy bringing non-traditional allies to bare on some of the toughest issues and is regarded as one of the first corporate executives to use political campaign ideology for corporate issue advocacy on major public policy campaigns. She has supported the U.S. business community on multiple campaign fronts including: Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Financial, Technology, and Trade. She continues to assist several corporations in building comprehensive grassroots, grasstops and third party advocacy programs to catapult their impact in Washington, D.C. and across the country. She is an expert in all facets of government relations and has developed unbeatable tactics for working Congress, the White House, and federal agencies.
Brian DeVallance, Homeland Security & Cyber Security
Brian most recently served as the Vice President of Policy & Outreach for the Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS), home of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the CIS Critical Security Controls. CIS operates as a nonprofit entity to advance cybersecurity readiness and response for public and private sector enterprises. Brian was responsible for monitoring and coordinating CIS’s contributions to American cybersecurity policy at all levels of government including the U.S. Congress, the White House, and key state and local government associations. Prior to this, he served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this position, he acted as the DHS’s principal liaison with the U.S. Congress, coordinating and overseeing the Department’s legislative activity; working closely with authorization, appropriations, and oversight committees of the House and Senate to ensure that the Department’s priorities were reflected throughout the legislative and oversight process; and advising the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and other senior leadership of the Department on legislative matters.
Brian served as the Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs from May 2013 to August 2014. Prior to that, he served as Senior Counselor to then-Secretary Janet Napolitano and Chief of Staff to then-Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute. In addition, he served as the Department’s senior accountable officer for the implementation of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and worked on issues relating to integration of public safety among the Federal departments and between the Federal and state, local, and tribal governments. De Vallance also worked extensively on immigration and border issues.
Previously, Brian served on the senior staff of two Governors, a Mayor, a state Supreme Court Chief Justice, and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, where he served as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and its Federalism officer.
He graduated from Brown University and Arizona State University’s College of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the law journal.
Holly Page, Public Affairs
Holly Page has extensive experience working to advance political goals and public policy issues along with the fundraising activities necessary to support them. Her career has included significant positions as a senior advisor to major donors, state and federal candidates, highly impactful think tanks, foundations and advocacy organizations. Notably, Holly was the Western States Deputy Finance Director for Bill Clinton’s first Presidential campaign and was the Executive Vice President of the Democratic Leadership Council for 10 years.
Today, Holly provides clients with strategic counsel on how to advance their brand awareness in Washington, D.C. and beyond. She has an established track record of developing impactful ideas, forging powerful partnerships, and creating breakthrough opportunities for her clients. Her accomplishments include creating and executing the National Conversation, then the largest Democratic party gathering outside of the national convention, the first ever online town hall meeting with a sitting U.S. President, the Third Way Summit that featured five sitting world leaders and the ongoing White Oak Symposium series. Page envisioned and masterminded a takeover of the Lincoln Memorial for Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi and oversaw the establishment of Dog Tag Bakery, a delicious and innovative bakery that in joint effort with Georgetown University seeks to give veterans, military spouses and caregivers an opportunity at a reimagined future.
Claire Sanders Swift, Media, and Crisis Communications
Claire is an award-winning broadcast journalist turned national media consultant. She began her career in Washington, DC with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Bureau Chief, Hedrick Smith on his highly acclaimed series for PBS, the Power Game. For more than a decade, she produced for ABC News, NBC News, MSNBC, Harpo Productions/Paramount Pictures in New York and Los Angeles eventually making her way back to DC. After successfully assisting a diverse group of clients in the spotlight over the years Claire has managed complicated media situations for the nation’s leading law firms, public relations companies, foundations, and high profile corporations and individuals. Her strategies have helped clients gain or avoid national and local attention, depending upon the story and the needs of the client.
During her career in the mainstream media, Sanders’ stories won national audiences of tens of millions of viewers. She has developed and produced feature stories, investigative reports, documentaries, and series. Her credits include Prime Time Live, Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric, Dateline NBC, Headliners and Legends with Matt Lauer, Good Morning America, The Dr. Phil Show and Tanner ‘88. Listed among her many assignments are the OJ trials, the Oklahoma bombing story, 9/11, and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, called her, “Truly creative and versatile with a knack for getting the great stories; she knows characters, visuals and the emotional pitch.” Claire has two Emmys, a National Headliner Award, is a voting member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is an active member of the American News Women’s Club. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and two children.
Sichan Siv, International Affairs
Ambassador Sichan Siv was a United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. From 1989 to 1993, he served at The White House as deputy assistant to President George H.W. Bush and at the State Department as deputy assistant secretary. He has also held various positions in the private sector.
Ambassador Siv is the recipient of, among others, the George H.W. Bush Award for Outstanding Public Service, DAR Americanism Medal, U.S. Army Commander’s Award, and Brazilian Academy of Art, Culture and History Honors. He has authored the international bestselling memoir “Golden Bones: An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America (2008) and the political thriller “Golden State: Love and Conflict in Hostile Lands (2014).
Karen Diebel Sessions
Karen Sessions has over 30 years of experience providing expertise in legislative and public policy, large-scale public-private investment, strategic planning, business development, organizational structure and change management. With valuable knowledge in developing and emerging markets, communications, public affairs, congressional affairs and international development, Ms. Sessions served President Donald J. Trump as the Vice President of Congressional and Public Affairs at Millennium Challenge Corporation.
Karen also served as CEO of EdgePresence, an edge computing company, where she continues as an Advisory Board Member. The company designs and operates micro data centers that are used for edge computing serving the next generation internet architecture. The investments seek to increase communications bandwidth to underserved markets and increase digital inclusion.
At Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Karen led the department’s congressional affairs and public affairs, including authorizing and appropriations responsibilities, international and domestic public affairs, media and press relations, public events, external affairs, interagency affairs and the agency’s public website and digital assets. MCC is a U.S. government-owned corporation that provides U.S. foreign assistance grants to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and strengthen foreign institutions through policy reform.
Before joining MCC, Ms. Sessions served as the Chief External Affairs Officer and Board Member for XG Communities, a leader in small cell deployment. XG Communities provides intelligent wireless infrastructure for cities, communities and facilities and with her extensive background in implementing complex architecture in communications technology, Karen’s leadership was pivotal to the high growth of the company.
Prior to joining XG Communities, Ms. Sessions spent over 26 years with Verizon Communications and most recently held the position of Vice President, Public Policy, Law and Security. Karen was responsible for both present and emerging Communications Public Policy that included Smart Cities, Telematics, Internet of Things, Transportation, Machine to Machine (M2M), Healthcare, Energy, Security and Cybersecurity. In addition, she managed stakeholder relationships including business, academics, think-tanks, and engineering and standards experts for research and external corporate communications.
Ms. Sessions was the Co-founder and Board Member of the N. Donald Diebel, Jr. M.D. Good Samaritan Fund and the Diebel Legacy Fund, 501(c)3, with a specific mission to serve medically uninsured women and children in the community. She also serves as a Board Member of the Lazarex Cancer Foundation and the Congressional Award Foundation.
Ms. Sessions holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida.
Iriabel Nailen, International and Business Affairs
Iriabel is a business and international communications expert with more than 15 years of experience in international politics and diplomacy. In her career, she led media engagement and strategy for the campaign, election, and inauguration of Laura Chinchilla, the first female president of Costa Rica. She served as the lead Political Advisor to Vice President Luis Liberman Ginsburg, supporting the administration in garnering public and political support for a broad array of economic reforms and infrastructure investment across Costa Rica. She was later appointed to the Embassy of Costa Rica in Qatar, the country’s first embassy in the Arab world. In addition to providing citizen and consular services, she facilitated the creation of business ties between Costa Rica and Qatar. A former investigative reporter for Al Día Newspaper in San Jose, Costa Rica, she focused on in-depth investigative reporting.
After relocating to Washington, DC, Iriabel has leveraged her knowledge of the Middle East, Latin American, and US markets to build a successful consulting practice supporting Latin American organizations looking to enter US markets, as well as American companies looking to enter LATAM markets. She is fluent in both Spanish (native language) and English.
Iriabel graduated from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, holding a Graduate Degree in Media Production and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. She currently lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two Yorkies.
Tom is a senior business leader with more than 25 years of experience at Verizon, where he provided C-suite level advice on legal, strategy, policy and regulatory matters, across Verizon’s consumer and enterprise operations in the U.S. and internationally. His work as a general counsel and senior advisor spans a wide variety of complex legal, business and organizational issues, ranging from privacy and compliance, to organization design, outsourcing and restructuring, to managing complex commercial and regulatory relationships. Throughout his career, Tom has played a key role in helping to build a wide range of consumer and enterprise businesses and services, including Verizon’s industry-leading internet and fiber-to-the-home broadband service, and its converged video, healthcare, IoT and international 5G and security services. Along the way, Tom has successfully advised businesses of all sizes from start-ups to multibillion-dollar global operations. Tom’s broad access to industry experts and government officials has given him invaluable perspectives and expertise that translate into an ability to connect the dots across the legal, regulatory and geopolitical landscape, and to provide timely and results-oriented guidance to clients on complex matters.
Tom’s background at Verizon includes management of large and diverse, multinational teams, and he has held a variety of senior roles, including most recently as Verizon’s Senior Vice President & General Counsel for International. In that role, Tom was responsible for all legal, regulatory and compliance matters affecting the company’s operations outside the U.S., including the company’s policies on major geopolitical issues such as U.S.-China cyber security, supply chain and trade relations.
Previously, Tom served as Chief Corporate Strategy Counsel, advising Verizon’s EVP of Strategy and strategy group on a wide range of issues, including media convergence, 5G supply chain, corporate structure and TMT sector regulatory issues. He also led Verizon’s Washington-based international government relations team, working with the U.S. State and Commerce Departments, major regulatory bodies including the ITU and ICANN.
A frequent public speaker and industry expert, Tom has spoken at venues globally on technology topics including the 5G industrial revolution, regulatory reform and technology convergence. He has testified before Congress on multiple issues and chaired two major Washington-based cross-industry organizations. Tom and his wife, Mia live in the Washington, DC area and have two adult sons.