Our Team

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The May Group LLC is a strategic alliance of premier members of Washington's lobbying and public affairs community. The skill sets of our professionals range from leveraging lifelong relationships in politics and business to the latest in digital advocacy, polling, media relations and message delivery. Let us custom-design a team to best fit your needs.

Edward A. Merlis

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Ed Merlis is a public affairs and government relations consultant whose executive branch, Capitol Hill, trade association and corporate experience extends back to his production of the government's anti-smoking commercials more than 40 years ago.

Having served as Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Chief of Staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he is deeply familiar with all facets of the legislative and public affairs process. He has also worked on a wide variety of campaigns involving the communications and transportation industries.

These include the Stop Oil Speculation Now campaign, winner of a 2008 PRSA Silver Anvil Award, and the Strategic Safety Initiative, an image rehabilitation and legislative campaign for the Regional Airline Association.

He has also been involved with the advertising, communications, and website re-branding of The Pebble Partnership, the largest copper mine currently being explored in North America, and the grassroots, coalition building, regulatory and legislative components of "The Future Faster," the U.S. Telecom Association's effort to facilitate telephone company entry into video.

His private sector management experience includes serving in leadership roles in several associations and companies including the National Cable Television Association (during Congressional consideration of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984) and the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Inc. He was President, Cable Affiliate Division, Telaction Corporation, a wholly owned J.C. Penney subsidiary that developed a pre-broadband interactive video and information service.

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Bryce (Larry) Harlow

Larry Harlow's career has been distinguished by his extraordinary capacity to rise to the top of organizations in both public and private sectors. He has built a reputation for tireless, honest and sophisticated advocacy in working with the U. S. Congress and Administrations of both political parties.

His government service spans over 15 years, serving three administrations in virtually every type of federal agency. In President George H.W. Bush's Administration, he was Deputy Under Secretary of the Treasury and later, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Legislative Affairs.

He earlier served in both of President Reagan's two terms, beginning in the Environmental Protection Agency as Director of the Office of Legislation and later, in a similar role, for the Federal Trade Commission.

He has handled the confirmation process of many dozens of Presidential nominees and has been involved in Congressional consideration of hundreds of legislative measures. He has had a senior planning and management role at the last five Republican National Conventions, directing the proceedings of each session of the Conventions in 2004 and 2008.

Larry left government in 1991 to join one of Washington's premier government relations firms, Timmons and Company. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of Timmons from 2000 to 2009 and, following its merger, was Vice Chairman of the Prime Policy Group in 2010. He opened Harlow Government Relations LLC in 2011, building on a career of constructive relationships across many industries and agencies of government.

He has said, "The foundation for every professional and personal relationship is trust and integrity." He is an ideal exemplar of these respected qualities.

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Kathryn O'Leary Higgins

Kathryn O'Leary Higgins has more than three decades experience in both public and private sectors. She was the 36th Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) from 2006 to 2009. She served the Clinton Administration as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor from 1997 to 1999 and in the White House as Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet from 1995 to 1997.

She also served as Acting Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts and Vice Chair of the Presidential Commission on U.S. Coast Guard Roles and Missions.

In her capacity as Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet, Kathryn worked closely with the NTSB, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and Coast Guard on a number of transportation issues. These included formulation and implementation of hazardous materials regulations, increasing inspector staffing, FAA reauthorization and creation of the NTSB Office of Family Assistance. She was awarded Distinguished Service medals by the FAA and Coast Guard for her work.

From 1993 to 1995, she served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Labor. Previously she was Chief of Staff to Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) for seven years and Senior Legislative Associate and Minority Staff Director with the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee for five years. From 1978 to 1981, she was with the Carter Administration's White House Domestic Policy Council as Assistant Director for Employment Policy.

She came to Washington, D.C. from Yankton, South Dakota, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska. She is now President of the Higgins Company, a Washington, D.C. government relations firm.

David A. Fuscus

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David A. Fuscus is president and CEO of Xenophon Strategies with offices in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay area. The firm has key practice areas in public affairs, public relations, reputation management, crisis communications and government affairs.

Prior to launching Xenophon Strategies, he was Vice President of Communications for the Air Transport Association. He developed and implemented overall airline industry communications efforts, was a key political strategist for the ATA and served as the airline industry's chief spokesperson.

His career in politics included being Deputy Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, serving as a key political and media adviser. Prior to his tenure with Gov. Ridge, he spent nine years in Congress as Director of Public Affairs for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and as Deputy Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to Rep. William F. Clinger (R-PA). He has managed numerous political campaigns.

One of his areas of expertise is crisis communications and he has worked with journalists on such crises as representing the airline industry following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, major airline accidents and media coverage of 13 large U.S. hurricanes including Katrina.

Public relations and public affairs campaigns designed by David have won numerous awards, including the Public Relations Society of America's Silver Anvil Award, the Thoth Award for Best External PR Campaign and the Thoth Best of Show Award for the year's top public relations campaign.

Nicholas A. Sabatini

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Nick Sabatini is international aviation safety consultant and former Federal Aviation Administration associate administrator for aviation safety. He served in that role from 2001 to 2009.

The responsibilities of that assignment included the certification, production approval, and continued airworthiness of aircraft; and the certification of pilots, mechanics, and others in safety-related aviation positions. He was responsible for the certification of all operational and maintenance enterprises in U.S. domestic civil aviation; development and promulgation of civil aviation regulations; civil flight operations in the U.S.; and the certification and safety oversight of nearly 7,300 U.S. commercial airlines and air operators.

He led 7,000 employees working in FAA Washington headquarters, nine regional offices across the country, more than 125 field offices throughout the world and managed an annual aviation safety budget of more than $1 billion.

He joined the FAA in 1979 and rose through the ranks with increasingly greater responsibilities. His communications skills and abilities to build consensus and reach broad audiences have distinguished his entire career. His aviation safety leadership has been recognized for its cooperative approach. For example, the Air Transport Association honored him in 2003 with its "Nuts and Bolts" award for outstanding contributions to the airline industry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society of London.

Before joining the FAA, Nick was a pilot for the U.S. Customs Service and, previous to this, was a police officer and helicopter pilot for New York City's Police Department. He attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Daniel M. Larson

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Dan Larson is Principal of Larson Associates LLC, a communications and public affairs firm specializing in writing and advocacy communications. He has more than 30 years experience as a media relations, government relations and communications strategist in industries as diverse as high tech and consumer products, electric utilities and pharmaceuticals.

As a writer, his diverse experiences cover the full spectrum from speeches to newsletters to Congressional testimony to a book on the corporate history of a global, privately-owned corporation. Clients include TechNet, National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, DCI Group, Weber-Merritt Public Affairs and Sea Search Armada. He has served as a strategic counselor to major U.S. corporations, trade associations, non-profits and federal and state government.

Prior to forming Larson Associates, he directed media relations involving legislative and regulatory issues for Texas Instruments in its Washington, D.C. office. He was chair of the Semiconductor Industry Association's communications committee for ten years. His government relations portfolio for the company included tax, energy, environment, health care, pensions and high-skilled immigration reform.

Before joining Texas Instruments in 1995, Dan was Vice President at the public relations firm of John Adams Associates in Washington, D.C. He has also been with and advised the Electric Power Research Institute, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, the law firm of Collier, Shannon and Scott and, as a political appointee, served as Public Affairs Administrator for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

He received a B.A. in journalism with a minor in political science from The George Washington University.

Lee Johnson

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Lee Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Congressional Media Group, LLC (CMG); and Chief Executive Officer of 101 Strategy Partners, LLC.

Johnson and his CMG team provide television production support for Comcast's public affairs program "Comcast Newsmakers"; and "Washington Watch with Roland Martin" for the TV One television network. The team also produces videos for use in media outreach, internal and external communications, and for special events.

101 Strategy Partners is a bipartisan, public affairs consortium that provides high level consulting and other specialized services. These services include strategic counsel, polling and survey analysis, political management, and media production and outreach.

He served as Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Republican Conference under Conference Chairman Connie Mack of Florida and Conference Vice Chair Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. He was responsible for the communications assets and media operations of the Republican leadership and the Republican caucus in the 106th Congress and for message development and coordination in the 107th.

He held senior management positions with Burson-Marsteller, as Managing Director of the Grassroots Division; and Golin/Harris, where he held the title of Senior Vice President of Public Affairs.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University/BA, 1975 and the University of Alabama School of Law/JD, 1978, he is admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court, the State of Florida, and the District of Columbia.