Nzinga Dyson, J.D.

At Lewis-Burke, Nzinga uses her comprehensive knowledge of the inner-workings of Capitol Hill to advise and support clients with their national security and environmental research- related government relations needs. She also advises clients on upcoming research opportunities and strategies to engage Federal research agencies and Capitol Hill.

Before joining Lewis-Burke, Nzinga served as Legislative Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security, where she advised Members of Congress and Committee leadership on legislative and oversight matters that pertained to the administration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

While at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security, Nzinga was primarily responsible for the Committee’s work surrounding the DHS preparedness grant programs and emergency communications. Nzinga also monitored FEMA’s response and recovery efforts associated with disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, Nzinga was instrumental in the passage of the Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019, legislation that became law in January 2020.

Issue Areas: Defense, National Security, Homeland Security, Congressional Affairs, Climate Resilience

Additional Expertise: Nzinga also served as Special Assistant to the Chairman at Ian Reid, LLC. There, she provided strategic advice and counsel to the firm’s Chairman and leadership team on public policy related to geo-political issues, research, and current events. She also advised clients with local government issues related to homeland security and public safety.

Vital Statistics: Nzinga is from Fort Washington, Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Morgan State University and her Juris Doctorate degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Law. She was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2013.

Nzinga is also an active member of the Xi Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she served as Attorney Advisor in 2019, advising the Chapter President and Executive Board members on all legal matters.

Joanna Ratigan

Joanna Ratigan assists Lewis-Burke clients by monitoring environmental and public health legislative developments and funding opportunities from federal agencies, most notably, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Joanna’s passion for public health and environmental justice, and her experience in health policy, research, and advocacy, allows her to provide thorough insight to clients that integrates multiple issues.

Issue Expertise: Health, agriculture, environment, nutrition, climate, and biomedical research.

Additional Experience: Joanna’s first exposure to policy work came when she served as a Legislative Intern for Representative Sean Patrick Maloney of New York. She went on to earn additional experience from internships in health science research and global health advocacy in New York and Washington, DC. Joanna most recently gained expertise in school nutrition policy as an intern at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. While studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, she combined her passions for health and environment, while discovering a new interest in agriculture, by completing an independent research project on the impacts of climate change on the nutritional value of rice crops.

Vital Statistics: Joanna is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and was born in South Africa. She spent the longest amount of time in New Rochelle, New York – which she considers home – but also lived in Maputo, Mozambique twice before finishing high school in Ottawa, Ontario. She graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, a concentration in International Development, and a minor in Public Health. Joanna is an avid fan of soccer (women’s) and basketball (women’s and men’s), and spends her free time supporting the Portland Thorns, New York Liberty, Portland Trail Blazers, and Toronto Raptors in that order.

Society Engagement on International Response to Desert Locust

Lewis-Burke Associates introduced a scientific society to the contacts at the Food and Agricultural Organization who were leading on the global response to the desert locust crisis in the Horn of Africa.

By facilitating this introduction, Lewis-Burke enabled the society to raise its international profile, enable its members to advise on the Desert Locust response, and to plan awareness raising events about international coordination efforts to address pest management that would not have otherwise been possible.

Leading Advocacy for Wildfire Research Funding

Lewis-Burke worked with a large public research university to initiate an appropriations strategy to increase federal wildfire research funding and coordination. By working with university researchers, university government relations, and members of Congress, Lewis-Burke helped a university get out ahead of its peer institutions on an issue that is quickly gaining national attention.

Elevating the Profile of Coastal Sustainability

To support a university client’s multi-million-dollar investment in a new, interdisciplinary Coastal Sustainability Initiative, Lewis-Burke developed a multi-prong federal relations strategy to raise the profile of the new associated Institute and position the university for federal funding opportunities in sustainability research.  As part of the execution of this strategy, Lewis-Burke worked with relevant Members of Congress to host a briefing on Capitol Hill showcasing the university’s expertise in sustainability and featuring the participation of several leadership officials at key funding agencies.  This event also served as a platform for promoting authorization legislation focused on federal programs that support coastal resilience and sustainability research.  Concurrently, Lewis-Burke worked directly with research faculty on campus to help position the university for success in competing for a variety of federal funding opportunities.  This aspect of the strategy leveraged Lewis-Burke's ability to facilitate high-level agency meetings and contribute to the development of white papers and other promotional materials.  Finally, Lewis-Burke used its ability as a convener to assist the client in launching a university consortium focused on sustainability research.  This helped widen the reach of the initiative and engaged key Members of Congress and their staffs in a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill which Lewis-Burke organized.  These actions collectively enabled the university to raise the profile of the new sustainability initiative among its peer institutions, key decision-makers at federal agencies, and Members of Congress.

Authorization of Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AGARDA)

Lewis-Burke worked closely with Senate Majority and Minority staff to provide input for the new Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AGARDA) Pilot, authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. This included everything from the general scope of the program to technical assistance on specific mechanisms AGARDA would be authorized to use.

The goals of AGARDA, as summarized from the legislative text, are to develop and deploy solutions to protect against threats to agriculture and food in the US; overcome barriers to enhance export competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and resilience to extreme events; ensure the U.S. maintains its leadership in developing agricultural technologies, research tools, and qualified projects and products that increase economic competitiveness and security; and undertake advanced research and development in areas industry by itself is not likely to go.

Since its authorization, Lewis-Burke has worked with an informal coalition of other interested stakeholders to bolster congressional support for AGARDA.

Bridget Krieger

Bridget Krieger is a trusted advocate on Capitol Hill and a champion for federal research agencies, most notably at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  With 15 years of research and higher education lobbying and consulting experience, Bridget works with clients to understand their federal objectives and then designs and implements federal and congressional strategies that attain short-term wins while solidifying the foundation for long-term federal success.

Bridget covers a diverse range of issues and leads the firm’s agricultural policy portfolio.  Her expertise and connections to an extensive network of policymakers enabled her to achieve client objectives in the highly political Farm Bill.  A dynamic strategist who achieves results, Bridget has extensive experience in advocating for vital federal life science programming, building new agency relationships, and guiding large-scale science projects through the federal budgeting and congressional appropriations process.

Issue Areas: Appropriations, agriculture, basic life sciences, urban affairs, hazards, public service.

Additional Experience: Bridget gained government relations experience in the private and public arenas through appointments with Congressman Dennis Moore of Kansas, Labour Party Headquarters in London, and at Tulane University.

Vital Statistics: Born and raised in Kansas City before venturing south to Tulane University in New Orleans, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Bridget has a strong appreciation for great food and music.  When not talking about the importance of agricultural research, Bridget can be found enjoying the comforts of home with her husband, son, and daughter.

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.

Christina Laridaen

Christina Laridaen has honed her understanding of environment, agriculture, and biomedical portfolios including coastal resilience.  She supports Lewis-Burke clients by providing in-depth information about actions in Congress and at federal agencies and strategizing new initiatives and positioning for success.

Issue Areas: Environment, resilience, oceanic and coastal research, agriculture, and biomedical health.

Additional Experience: Before joining the Lewis-Burke team, Christina worked in the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, where she assisted on the research, commodity, and conservation titles in the 2018 Farm Bill in addition to covering regulation of bioengineered foods.  Prior to moving to D.C., Christina worked as the Government and Legislative Affairs Coordinator for the Minnesota Student Association, where she managed advocacy efforts relevant to University of Minnesota students at all levels of government. At the State Capitol, she helped secure increases in biennium university funding by creating a statewide coalition of student advocates, regularly testifying at the legislature, and authoring letters on behalf of the student body to the Governor.

Vital statistics: Christina is a proud lifelong Minnesotan and graduate from the University of Minnesota, where she studied political science and applied economics. Her congressional experience traces all the way back to her high school days when she served as a United States Senate Page.