Advanced Intelligence on New Competitive Funding Mechanisms

NASA’s 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

NASA’s 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-Burke’s 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 center’s 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 client’s 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 DOD’s Research Enterprise and the Department’s 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.


Enhance the Classified Workforce Pipeline

On behalf of a university client, Lewis-Burke drafted and lobbied for a pilot program to ensure undergraduate and graduate students are fully cleared upon completion of their degree to ensure seamless transition into the classified workforce.

In coordination with university leadership, the congressional delegation, and appropriate committee staff, Lewis-Burke crafted appropriations and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) language to support this effort.

The congressional advocacy is complemented with engagement with the Department of Defense, including the Army Test and Evaluation Command, the STEM Office, and the Basic Research Office.

The process illustrates the comprehensive approach—including coordinated outreach to multiple decision-makers in both the agencies and in Congress—that Lewis-Burke has successfully employed over the course of its time in business.


Paula Trimble

Paula Trimble is a skilled strategist, project manager, analyst, and communications professional, who works with clients to identify funding opportunities and shape the development of future programs at the U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS).  With more than 17 years of experience in the government and private defense and aerospace sectors, Paula is adept at helping clients navigate the complex and often opaque national security research landscape.  Her experiential understanding of the defense research and engineering enterprise offers Lewis-Burke’s clients innovative approaches to national security interests.  She develops integrated legislative and federal agency strategies that position clients for strategic wins in the national security space.

Issue Expertise: Defense and intelligence community, defense planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBE), homeland security, cybersecurity, emerging capabilities such as prototyping and experimentation, federal contracting and Other Transactions Authority (OTA), digital manufacturing, digital currency and blockchain, autonomy, artificial intelligence, and space.

Additional Experience: Paula brings a wealth of federal agency experience, having served in commercial space offices at the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Federal Aviation Administration, and at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), where she oversaw research and development programs aimed at rapidly producing and fielding technology prototypes, experiments, and demonstrations.  Prior to working in government, she gained government relations experience in the Washington, DC office of Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation.  Early in her career, Paula was a news reporter for several publications, including Federal Computer Week and Space News. She remains engaged with the journalism profession as a judge for the Gerald R. Ford Award for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.  Paula serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR).

Vital Statistics: Paula is a native of New York.  She attended The Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with honors in Media Studies, and earned minor degrees in art history and science, technology, and society.  Paula serves as the Director of Communications for the Information Professionals Association (IPA), which promotes cognitive security.  She is an avid runner and cyclist, and a volunteer with The Holiday Project, where she leads holiday visits and activities for residents at nursing homes and long-term care facilities in northern Virginia.


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.


Reed Skaggs, Ph.D.

Dr. Reed Skaggs is a trusted advisor for clients, uniquely able to navigate relationships between academia and the Department of Defense (DOD) science and technology enterprise.  With a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and decades of experience within the federal defense establishment, Reed provides Lewis-Burke clients with informed strategies and effective approaches to supporting the missions of the DOD, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Intelligence community.

Reed has held various management and leadership positions such as serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Army Research and Technology and as the Acting Deputy Director for Ground Systems, Soldier Systems and Training, and Biometrics.  Reed led the formulation of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL)’s long-term S&T portfolio strategy and established new programs for materials, computational sciences, and neuroscience.  His assignment to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) expanded his breadth of experiences to include developing national policies for high-skilled immigration, the United States accession to the Ottawa Convention, as well as addressing the health and sufficiency of the national security S&T enterprise for the 21st century.  At Lewis-Burke, Reed counsels clients on the nuances of DOD research operations and tailors strategies to effectively engage, including connecting clients to the highest leaders in the DOD.  As a senior expert for Lewis-Burke’s defense practice, Reed develops and implements multi-faceted initiatives to raise clients’ federal profile, ranging from Capitol Hill engagement to providing advanced intelligence to position them for unique DOD funding opportunities.

Issue Expertise: Defense/national security R&D, DOD laboratories and budget process, physical and materials sciences, and engineering.

Additional Experience: As a scientist, Reed appreciates learning about emerging technical research areas and leverages personal curiosity to develop innovative high-level strategies for clients.  Most recent examples include identifying emerging federal opportunities such as robotics/autonomy, quantum information science, and infectious diseases.

Vital Statistics: Reed grew up in Southern VA, attending Hampden-Sydney College followed by his pursuit of an advanced degree in physical chemistry at George Washington University.  Reed was a postdoc at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) where he was hired into civil service from 1999 to 2015 when he came to Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC.  In his personal time, Reed loves to play golf and spend time with his two daughters and wife Jennifer.  He is an avid Ravens and Nationals fan.


Aaron Kiesler

Aaron Kiesler focuses his strategic advice on the Department of Defense (DOD) and other national security agencies.  He works closely with clients on issues pertaining to intellectual property, technology transfer, next generation wireless, and biomedical research.

Aaron provides strategic guidance and in depth analysis to help clients navigate emerging policies and legislation, build stronger relationships with Congress and federal agencies, and develop successful advocacy campaigns on Capitol Hill.  He also works with Lewis-Burke clients to identify potential collaborations and develop strategies to align their work with emerging priorities in the national security community.  Aaron’s academic background in diplomacy and world affairs shapes his perspective on the impact of new technologies on U.S. national security policies, practices, and supporting laws.  Growing up in the Silicon Valley, Aaron is intimately familiar with the social and economic value that scientific and technological innovation contribute to economic growth and competitiveness.

Issue Areas: Defense and national security, economic development, technology transfer, and biomedical research

Additional Experience: Before joining Lewis-Burke, Aaron gained congressional experience working as a Scheduler and Field Representative in the district office of California Congresswoman Jackie Speier and as a Policy Intern in the Washington, DC office of New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan.

Vital Statistics: Aaron graduated from Occidental College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs.  Aaron has traveled to 26 countries (and counting) on five continents and is currently learning his third language.  Having survived playing eight years of rugby and football, Aaron enjoys running and playing softball on the National Mall.