The Congressional Institute hosted over 130 House of Representatives chiefs of staff, committee staff directors, and leadership staff at its annual Chiefs of Staff Conference, which took place from May 4 through 6 in Williamsburg, Virginia. The congressional staff gathered for discussions about public policy and how to manage and lead their offices more effectively.

Keynote speakers at the 2022 Chiefs of Staff Conference included former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, and National Review journalist Jim Geraghty. Speaker Gingrich and Lt. Governor Earle Sears spoke about the need for the chiefs of staff to broaden their outreach to diverse groups of constituents and provided suggestions on how to do so. Geraghty encouraged the chiefs to staff to always remember that Congress is central to the Federal Government and to counteract the “imperial presidency.”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears at the 2022 Chiefs of Staff Conference
Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears delivers a keynote address at the 2022 Chiefs of Staff Conference on May 5 in Williamsburg, VA. (Photo: Rob Cannon)

Mark Horstman, the co-founder of management consulting firm Manager Tools, LLC, delivered a presentation called “The Effective Chief: Ready to Lead.” He talked about the need for chiefs to prepare for the 118th Congress by pro-actively setting a plan for their office, building relationships with their staff and external stakeholders, and having potential candidates in mind for vacancies that inevitably will occur. Horstman, known for his straight talk and effective strategies for improving performance, has become a staple at the Congressional Institute conferences and a trusted resource for congressional staffers.

Mark Horstman at the 2022 Chiefs of Staff Conference
Mark Horstman of Manager Tools speaks about how chiefs can prepare to lead their offices in the 118th Congress. (Photo: Rob Cannon)

We were honored to host members of the diplomatic community at the conference. His Excellency Andrei Muraru, the Ambassador of Romania to the United States; Adam Kryzwosadzki, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Polish Embassy; Senay Bulbul, the Political Director of the British Embassy, spoke on a panel about the war in Ukraine, their countries’ efforts to assist the embattled country, and how the United States and its allies can work together more effectively. Since many congressional staffers do not often interact with the diplomatic corps, they welcomed the opportunity to discuss policy with the Romanian, British, and Polish diplomats.

Diplomatic panel at the 2022 Chiefs of Staff Conference
Diplomats from the United Kingdom, Poland, and Romania speak on a panel moderated by Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute.

In addition to these discussions, the Chiefs of Staff Conference featured panels on the legislative agenda, with a briefing from leadership chiefs of staff; congressional ethics; how to use their office budget more effectively; and what resources are available to congressional staff.

Many thanks to all who presented and attended!