The Congressional Institute was pleased to host the 2022 Legislative and Communication Directors Conference from June 1 through 3 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Nearly 230 House of Representatives legislative directors, communications directors, and leadership staff gathered to discuss public policy, communications strategies, and other topics critical to duties as congressional aides.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and author and social critic Os Guinness delivered keynote speeches at the conference. Guinness spoke about the intellectual underpinnings of the American Republic and the importance of preserving this heritage. Speaker Gingrich discussed how congressional staffers could expand their outreach and persuade the public. Additionally, Congressional Institute president Mark Strand moderated a fireside chat with Theodoros Bizakis, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Greek Embassy, and Adam Krzywosadzki, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Policy Embassy. The diplomats spoke about the war in Ukraine, the future of NATO, and how international friends and allies can work together more closely.
The legislative and communication directors had separate policy and communication breakout discussions. The legislative directors’ first breakout session featured Dr. Philip Swagel, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Wade Ballou, the House’s Legislative Counsel. They discussed how staff could work with their offices in drafting legislation. The second breakout session featured experts on the legislative process who discussed how to advance legislation through the House. The communications directors participated in breakout discussions on communicating effectively during a crisis and digital communications strategy.
In addition to breakout sessions, the legislative and communications directors had several general sessions together. David Winston and Myra Miller of the Winston Group and Dave Sackett and BJ Martino of the Tarrance Group talked about public opinion data. Mark Horstman of Manager Tools, LLC, explained how the staffers could prepare for the 118th Congress. Chad Wolf of the America First Policy Institute and Ryan Streeter of the American Enterprise Institute spoke about how a diverse Republican majority could work together to govern effectively. Representative Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Bill Burck of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, and congressional staffers Machalagh Carr and Steve Castor spoke about congressional oversight. Tim Saccoccia of the Knights of Columbus, Katie Glenn of Americans United for Life, and Jamie Dangers of Susan B. Anthony List spoke about the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision. Other discussions included what’s on the legislative agenda, ethics, and the appropriations process.
The annual Legislative and Communication Directors Conference is always interesting since it brings together so many talented and energetic congressional staffers for serious policy and strategy discussions. We were incredibly pleased with the 2022 Legislative and Communication Directors Conference and look forward to next year’s!