Sierra Cato, J.D.

Sierra Cato is a principal at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC. As a skilled advisor and strategist in the energy policy practice, Sierra helps clients advance legislative priorities in Congress, protect their interests, secure federal funding, navigate challenges in the political landscape, and raise their profile in Washington. Prior to joining Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Sierra served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) where she oversaw the Department’s response to high level communications and policy actions from the White House related to energy policy and national security. She also spearheaded legislative reform efforts across DOE and supported the Secretary of Energy as Acting Staff Secretary where she led cross-agency coordination, preparation, and finalization of briefing materials for his domestic and international engagements. In addition, Sierra received a Secretary’s Appreciation Award for exceeding expectations in the strategy and creation of the Department of Energy Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office in September 2019.

Issue Expertise: Energy Sciences, Physical Sciences, Applied Sciences, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation, Nuclear Energy, DOE National Laboratories, Research and Development, Transportation, Appropriations, Artificial Intelligence, Technology Transitions, Grid Resilience and Modernization, Cybersecurity, Workforce Development and STEM

Additional Experience: During her career, Sierra gained sound knowledge of the inner workings of Congress while serving in various positions in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, including the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. During her time in the Senate, Sierra was Co-Chair of the Community Service Committee for the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus. In addition to a strong appreciation for service, Sierra values the importance of building strong relationships and working in a bipartisan manner. 

Vital Statistics: Sierra earned her Bachelor of Science in Applied Sociology at North Carolina State University. She received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Sierra was born and raised in Whiteville, North Carolina. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Griffin Reinecke

Griffin is a passionate advocate for science and technology policy. An expert in space, energy, and transportation issues, he leverages his experience working on Capitol Hill and relationships with congressional staff to provide Lewis-Burke clients with insight on potential congressional action and upcoming federal funding opportunities.

Issue areas: Civil space research and policy, fundamental and applied energy research and development, environmental research, transportation and infrastructure, and aeronautics.

Additional Experience: Prior to joining Lewis-Burke Associates, Griffin worked on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, where he served on the full committee and more recently on Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. During his time on the Committee, he developed an in-depth knowledge of space and science policy issues while building relationships with key stakeholders at relevant agencies, in academia, and industry. Griffin also worked as an intern in the office of Ron Wyden.

Vital Statistics: Griffin was born and raised in Bend, Oregon and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and sustainability from the University of Michigan. When not supporting Michigan athletics, Griffin spends his free time outdoors skiing, hiking, or playing golf.

Hale Stolberg

Hale Stolberg supports Lewis-Burke by providing research and up to date information on the defense and environment portfolios, tracking developments and opportunities at the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Having studied physics as an undergraduate and gained experience working in science policy, Hale brings a valuable perspective and passion to Lewis-Burke’s clients.

 Issue Areas: Defense, environment, Earth observation, workforce, research and development, space, and energy

Additional Experience: Prior to joining Lewis-Burke, Hale worked as a Science Policy Communications Intern at FYI: Science Policy News, an authoritative news and resource center for federal science policy from the American Institute of Physics. While there he reported on a range of issues including developments within space, energy, and research policy. Before that, he interned with NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Team, assisting the agency’s integration of robotic and human exploration missions.

Vital Statistics: A Chicago native, Hale moved to DC to pursue a B.A. in physics and minor in public policy from American University, graduating cum laude in 2020. Having spent more than three years in the District, Hale still likes to explore the city by foot, and is also an avid cyclist. Eventually, his goal is to bike down every street in the city and he has already made significant progress.

Positioning a University’s New Capability in Materials Research for Nuclear Security

Lewis-Burke developed and executed a strategic plan for a university client to highlight and fully leverage a new experimental capability, raise the university’s national profile in national security and materials research, and increase research funding.

The first phase involved briefing key congressional delegations and staff on the project and the benefits of this new capability. This resulted in inclusion of report language in one of the Senate appropriations bills highlighting the project as a model to emulate, and increased funding in a House appropriations bill for an academic alliance program which funds the research and facility operations of the university.

The next phase involved Lewis-Burke organizing a dedication ceremony to make other agencies aware of the unique capabilities, increasing research funding and users and raising the university’s profile.

Lewis-Burke also worked with the communications teams of federal agencies and science writers from a few science publications to publish press releases and articles in the media the day of the event. The results of this event included new and increased collaboration with federal agencies on future research projects, raised its congressional profile, and increased federal funding.

Establish Partnerships to Win a National Quantum Center

Lewis-Burke helped a university client establish partnerships with national labs, industry, and other research universities to successfully compete for a Department of Energy National Quantum Initiative center.

Lewis-Burke provided the university client advance intelligence about the new large-scale center funding opportunity, but to successfully compete for the multi-disciplinary center, the university client needed to establish partnerships with other institutions and organizations.

Lewis-Burke leveraged existing relationships and connections to national laboratories, private businesses, and other research universities with complementary capabilities and talent to help the university client pursue the right partnerships to successfully compete and have a leading role in the proposal.

Throughout the process Lewis-Burke not only identified and provided contact information for leading researchers and decision-makers at various organizations, but also provided advice on which strategic thrusts to emphasize and claim ownership based on competitive advantage.

Launching a New Energy Science and Technology Initiative

Lewis-Burke helped a university client create and define a new basic research energy science and technology initiative. Lewis-Burke worked with leadership and program managers at the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the National Science Foundation to sponsor a workshop led by a university client to define research priorities and future facility needs to advance a promising, high-risk science and technology area.

The workshop brought together more than one hundred experts from research universities, national laboratories, industry, and federal research agencies. The workshop led to specific recommendations and Lewis-Burke helped organize briefings to the federal agency sponsors, the Office of Management and Budget, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and key Congressional Appropriators, Authorizers, and Committee staff. This significantly increased the profile of the university client and established the university as the countrys leader for the research initiative.

The workshop recommendations have influenced agency investments in future budget requests and Lewis-Burke helped the client turn the workshop report recommendations into legislative language and programmatic funding requests for congressional authorization and appropriations bills.

Leland Cogliani, J.D.

Leland Cogliani leads Lewis-Burke’s energy practice, overseeing all Department of Energy (DOE) issues while also serving as Co-Chair of the Energy Sciences Coalition.  With more than 15 years of experience advancing science and technology priorities for research institutions, Leland is a leading voice in the higher education and research advocacy community to advance basic and applied energy research and development programs.  Leland also uses his substantive subject matter expertise in nuclear security and nonproliferation science and technology issues to grow the participation of institutions of higher education in addressing national security challenges.  Leland is currently a board member of the Arms Control Association and is a frequent speaker at science and technology forums.

Leland works closely with congressional authorizing and appropriations committees and federal research agencies on behalf of academic institutions, scientific societies, and facility management organizations to create new research initiatives and programs, advance science infrastructure projects, and increase federal research funding.

Prior to joining Lewis-Burke, Leland was the lead Senate Appropriations Committee staff member, with budget and oversight responsibility for $17 billion in federal programs, including the DOE Office of Science, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and DOE intelligence programs.

Issue Expertise: Appropriations, basic and applied energy research (DOE Office of Science; ARPA-E; renewable, energy efficiency, fossil, nuclear, and grid-related research), DOE national laboratories, nuclear security and nonproliferation (National Nuclear Security Administration), and budget issues.

Additional Experience: Prior to the Senate, Leland was a Senior Analyst in the Natural Resources and Environment Division at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) with oversight responsibilities over U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear nonproliferation programs.  He authored more than a dozen reports to Congress on science and national security issues, including life extension programs of nuclear warheads, the U.S. fusion program, and the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safeguards activities.

Vital Statistics: Leland earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at Boston College and his Master of Arts in International Affairs at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. He received a Juris Doctor from Catholic University Columbus School of Law.  Leland is a proud father of two daughters and enjoys traveling with his family around the country and the world seeking new adventures.  Leland is a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo and continues to train twice a week.  Born in Rome, Italy, Leland is a native Italian speaker.

Miriam Quintal

Miriam Quintal boasts a decade of advocacy and client success at Lewis-Burke, managing the federal relations portfolios for large academic institutions, scientific societies, and facility management organizations. As Managing Principal, she oversees the firm’s client engagement and issue practices to ensure success and advancement across the firm. Miriam fiercely protects client priorities, leveraging her unique combination of scientific training with political insight.

Miriam is a prominent leader in National Science Foundation advocacy, co-chairing the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) and working closely with the higher education and research advocacy community to guide policy for and champion the Foundation. Her wealth of knowledge and federal research enterprise acumen provides value to all components of client interests: supporting university leadership, shepherding research initiatives, and shaping policy across a range of issues. Major advocacy efforts have included successfully guiding large-scale science projects through the appropriations process, restoring funding for key programs proposed to be eliminated in the President’s budget request, establishing new agency funding for research infrastructure, and creating opportunities for clients to showcase research and leadership in Administration initiative areas.

Issue Expertise: Basic research (National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy Office of Science), STEM education, computing and computational science, math and physical sciences, engineering, and space and astronomy.

Additional Experience: Miriam has twice served as NSF lead for the Association of American Universities (AAU) Innovation Task Force.  Before joining Lewis-Burke, Miriam gained policy experience as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Board on Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  At the Academies, she contributed to several projects, including a review of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s education programs and a study of gaming and simulations for science education.

Vital Statistics: Miriam developed her passion for politics while growing up in the DC region, before venturing north to get an undergraduate degree in chemistry with highest honors from Smith College and a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry from Harvard University.  She has been a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow.  Miriam loves raising her son in DC alongside her wife.  She is deeply engaged in her community, serving as a Founding Trustee and coordinator for Minyan Segulah, a local independent prayer community, and volunteering with Jews United for Justice, which aims to advocate for local policies that improve the lives of disadvantaged residents of DC and Maryland.

Nick Saab

Nick leads Lewis-Burke’s space practice and leverages his deep expertise in space policy to provide clients with current and anticipated trends and opportunities across the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) portfolio of human exploration and scientific research missions, as well as at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Defense (DOD).  Space has always been a passion for Nick, and at the outset of his professional career, he co-founded and managed advocacy operations for a non-profit aimed at raising awareness and support for increasing NASA’s budget.  He maintains strong bipartisan relationships on Capitol Hill and works successfully with congressional committees, personal offices, and agency and White House offices to advance client priorities.

Nick also leads the firm’s portfolio of transportation and infrastructure issues, providing expertise to clients on Department of Transportation-wide priorities and guidance on targeted agency engagement.  He gained experience on these issues while at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), where he focused on policy, legislation, and grassroots advocacy relating to transportation, infrastructure, and STEM issues.  Nick also provides guidance and insight to the firm’s clients on research priorities and direction of Department of Energy (DOE), basic research in the Office of Science and Applied research across DOE, including renewable energy, grid modernization, and others.

Issue Expertise: Appropriations and budget issues, national security space and civilian space research and policy, human spaceflight, astronomy and astrophysics, planetary science, earth science and environmental research, aeronautics, transportation and infrastructure R&D, renewable energy and energy efficiency, U.S. electric grid modernization and security, and large scientific research facilities and aeronautics.

Additional Experience:  Prior to joining Lewis-Burke, Nick honed his advocacy skills as a Public Affairs Specialist with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) where he managed a portfolio that included NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Energy (DOE).  Nick gained policy experience on Capitol Hill interning in the U.S. House of Representatives and then as the legislative director of a non-profit focused on NASA and U.S. space policy.

Vital Statistics: Nick was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned a degree in political science from the University of Minnesota. A Midwesterner through-and-through, Nick enjoys fried cheese curds, snowstorms, and spending time with his wife, their two sons, and dog.