Sharon Eshelman

Sharon Eshelman is a strategic planning and communications professional with decades of government service and consulting experience, who has specialized in stakeholder management, and government affairs related to national security since 2001. At Lewis-Burke, Sharon serves as a strategic advisor to clients helping to advance their defense, cybersecurity, and homeland security priorities.  Sharon joins Lewis-Burke after spending two years as Senior Advisor in the Office of Legislative Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she guided the Department’s response to a myriad of Congressional oversight investigations and served as the primary liaison with Capitol Hill on Intelligence matters. Ms. Eshelman previously served as the National Security Subcommittee Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, overseeing more than 35 investigations into the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Homeland Security, State, Veterans’ Affairs, Defense, and the Intelligence Community.  

Issue Expertise: Defense and national security, homeland security, immigration, criminal justice, cybersecurity, congressional oversight.

Additional Experience:  From 2009 to 2017, Ms. Eshelman worked as a professional project manager at both Deloitte Consulting and the Sentinel HS Group where she supported strategy and policy clients within DHS, DOJ and the Treasury Department.  Prior to becoming a consultant in 2009, Ms. Eshelman served five years with the federal government, assuming various policy development roles in both DHS and the White House.  Throughout her career, she has contributed to a variety of federal initiatives such as: the White House Strategy (and Implementation Plan) for Pandemic Influenza; national disaster and COOP planning; various criminal justice and civil enforcement plans; federal fraud, waste and abuse investigations; victim support initiatives; federal program, planning, budgeting and execution (PPBE) efforts; state and local law enforcement outreach campaigns; government re-organizations and has written pieces included in the President’s Daily Briefing Book.  

Vital Statistics:  Ms. Eshelman received a B.S. in Business Administration from American University in Washington, DC, and a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI, and has completed additional coursework in political science and education.  

Beyond her professional and academic accomplishments, Ms. Eshelman has volunteered with the Anne Arundel County Public School System, Junior Achievement, National Youth Leadership Forum and College Summit organizations, and continues to look for ways to support youth development initiatives in the Greater Washington DC area.

Sharon is originally from the Greater Philadelphia area and is an avid Eagles, NASCAR and cheesesteak fan.  She enjoys playing golf and frisbee, jogging, swimming, and spending time outside with her husband and three children.  

Mia Luckett

Mia Luckett delivers timely insight, detailed research, and federal agency and congressional updates to Lewis-Burke clients. Mia specializes in monitoring and analyzing agency and legislative activity related to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Issue Expertise: Technology, Engineering Communities, Social Science, and Public- Private Partnerships.

Additional Information: Before joining Lewis-Burke Associates, Mia was a legal administrative assistant to a criminal defense and real estate attorney. Mia also interned with the district office of Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), where she gained an understanding of education policy and aided incarcerated constituents in utilizing government agencies. Mia was previously an Eben Tisdale Public Policy Fellow with the Fund for American Studies. As a fellow, she interned with lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas and worked with the Technology CEO council. During this time, Mia gained expertise in high-tech public policy, the latest innovations in science and technology, and conducted research on the effectiveness of bipartisanship.

Vital Statistics: Originally from the southern suburbs of Chicago, Mia graduated magna cum laude from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. While attending Hampton, Mia also joined Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and often does community service with other organization members. Mia is a self- proclaimed foodie and loves trying out a new recipe, or the latest and trendiest restaurants. In her free time Mia also enjoys traveling, reading, and working out.

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.

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.

Chris Dufour

Chris Dufour brings nearly two decades of National Security expertise to Lewis-Burke. From Defense and Intelligence to Foreign Policy and Homeland Security, Chris stitches together requirements and priorities to create effective client approaches in solving the country’s most pressing National Security challenges. Chris’s breadth of experience spans Defense procurement, acquisition, requirements analysis, testing and evaluation, program management, and contracting. He provides counsel to clients on the most efficient ways to grow innovative capabilities and match them to end user needs. Chris possesses rich and diverse subject matter expertise in cybersecurity, digital influence, and information operations, which enables extensive connections for clients with government entities in the executive and legislative branches.

Issue Expertise: Defense, Intelligence, National Security, Cyber, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Disinformation/Misinformation, Irregular Warfare, OSINT, Influence & Information Operations, Advertising Technology, Digital Privacy & Security, Ethics

Additional Experience: Prior to joining Lewis-Burke, Chris worked extensively in the open source intelligence (OSINT) community, developing training and technology solutions to equip end users with bleeding edge capabilities. He participated in research projects on the global disinformation crisis, working with academics and subject matter experts to identify causes, risks, and indicators & warnings of nefarious influence on global populations. His customers have included US Special Operations Command, US Central Command, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, several Fortune 50 technology companies, and the Government of Australia. Before this, Chris managed Information Environment projects for the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office’s Irregular Warfare Program, coordinating interagency requirements and funding for missions and users in US Special Operations Forces and the Intelligence Community. Prior to this, he was a technical advisor at the US Army IED Task Force, which he helped mature into the Joint IED Defeat Organization.

Vital Statistics: Chris graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a BA in English and later achieved his MA in Government from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, where his thesis on reforming the US National Security Apparatus earned high honors and attention across the National Security community. He eschews sports for consuming and playing live music and perfecting his culinary skills…unless the New Orleans Saints are playing an undefeated season. He is the author of many short stories, two published crime fiction novels, and two more in development. Chris is a native Texan and supports local citizen diplomacy programs like Fort Worth Sister Cities International.

Thomas Russell, Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas Russell is Senior Policy Advisor to Lewis-Burke. As a Senior Policy Advisor, Dr. Russell will serve as an independent, non-lobbying consultant to Lewis-Burke clients with interests in secure and non-secure National Security research and policy. Dr. Russell had a diverse 30-year government science and technology career, focused on leading complex multidisciplinary research organizations and executing broad multidiscipline research programs to meet future warfighter needs. He is a proven leader in directing basic, applied research and advanced technology development across the Department of Defense, including management of Department of Defense research collaborations with academia, industry and the international community. Dr. Russell’s Tri-Service career experience (16 years with the Navy, 6 years with the Air Force, and 8 years with the Army) makes him uniquely qualified. Dr. Russell provides strategic insights and analyses of relevant programs, policies, and regulations across the national security enterprise and offers profound experiences from both DOD science and technology as well as the Service (i.e. Navy, Army, Air Force) acquisition communities.

Issue Expertise: Identifying, developing, and demonstrating technology options that inform and enable effective and affordable capabilities for the Warfighter.

Additional Experience: Dr. Russell served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology; Director, Army Research Lab, Director; Air Force Office of Scientific Research; Executive Director, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division; and Director, Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation Directorate, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division.

Vital Statistics: Dr. Russell received a chemistry, University of Delaware and a B.S. in chemistry, Muhlenberg College. Dr. Russell began his federal career as a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. and at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, White Oak Laboratory, White Oak, MD. He is the recipient of a Navy Superior Civilian Service Award; the Army Distinguished Service Award; and the SES Presidential Rank Award, Meritorious Executive Service. Dr. Russell was selected to the Senior Executive Service in 2006 and retired from federal service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology and Army Chief Scientist in March 2020. In his spare time, Dr. Russell is an avid Cincinnati Bengals and Reds fan.

Advanced Intelligence on New Competitive Funding Mechanisms

NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate was beginning to consider new competitive research institutes in engineering technologies. Lewis-Burke worked with the agency to think through the approach, shared information about new topics well ahead of the solicitation, and enabled a client to successfully obtain a multi-million dollar funding award.

Building Support for NASA’s Heliophysics Division

NASAs Heliophysics Division budget underwent a multi-year period of stagnation and decline while other NASA science divisions consistently received funding increases. This was particularly concerning for one Lewis-Burke client with leading capabilities in solar science and experience partnering with NASA on Heliophysics missions.

Lewis-Burke developed an advocacy strategy designed to foster congressional support for the Heliophysics Division. The strategy recognized that NASA Heliophysics lacked both an effective message and an organized constituency to carry it. Lewis-Burke began by crafting a messaging approach that connected the recommendations of the solar and space physics community with congressional priorities for space exploration. Lewis-Burke then worked with the client to form a coalition of universities with ties to the NASA Heliophysics Division.

This concerted advocacy effort enabled multiple universities to simultaneously promote a single set of community-driven priorities to congressional appropriators.  Lewis-Burkes efforts were ultimately successful.  Between FY 2018 and FY 2020, funding for the Heliophysics Division has increased by $37 million, bringing total funding for NASA Heliophysics to the highest level it has seen in a decade.

Establishing a Cybersecurity Center

Lewis-Burke led the development and facilitated execution of a comprehensive federal strategy to obtain sustained support for a federal research and development institute and re-launch its next phase with a new long-term Department of Defense (DOD) contract. A key element of this strategy was establishing a new national cybersecurity center focused on the manufacturing sector and obtaining funding to support the centers growth.

Lewis-Burke helped increase awareness and support for the institute and its role in strengthening cybersecurity with government stakeholders and leveraged key industry members of the institute to expand congressional awareness and outreach. As a result, Lewis-Burke helped successfully advocate for increased DOD funding in FY 2020 to establish and accelerate growth of the cybersecurity center on a national scale.

Lewis-Burke continues to support the clients efforts to expand awareness of the role of the cybersecurity center in delivering national security capabilities and engage with key DOD leaders engaged in cybersecurity efforts, including the Assistant Director for Cybersecurity in the DODs Research Enterprise and the Departments Chief Information Security Officer.

Work continues to engage the military Services in their defense industrial base and supply chain cybersecurity challenges and develop options to diversify funding streams to secure the future operations of the institute.