New lobby shop opens with close ties to new power


The final day of 2010 brought with it the announcement of a new lobbying firm in Washington with a strong focus on education policy and close ties to newly ascendant congressmen. The Penn Hill Group launches with a team of former congressional staffers with deep experience in education policy.

The press release announcing the firm details the government background of its principal lobbyists:

Vic Klatt: Klatt has been involved in nearly every major federal education policy initiative since 1989. Most recently a vice president with Van Scoyoc Associates, Klatt also served as Republican staff director of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee and deputy assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Education. He worked at the Republican National Committee and as campaign manager and press secretary for incoming U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).

Alex Nock: Nock brings over 17 years of federal policy experience to Penn Hill Group. He served as Democratic deputy staff director for the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, where he oversaw the committee’s work in education, workforce, health and disability policy. From 2005–2007, Nock was the director of the Commission on No Child Left Behind, which issued the revolutionary report Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nation’s Children.

Danica Petroshius: Petroshius brings nearly 20 years of federal policy experience to Penn Hill Group. The former president and CEO of Policy Strategies and Solutions, Petroshius also served as the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s chief of staff as well as deputy staff director and top education adviser on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She worked at the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton administration, where she focused on the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

D’Arcy Philps: Philps comes to Penn Hill Group from Van Scoyoc Associates, where he served as a vice president in its education practice and helped build one of the largest and most successful education and workforce practices in Washington, D.C. Philps also focused on education and workforce policy during his eight years with the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee.

Rich Stombres: Most recently a director for Van Scoyoc Associates in its education practice, Stombres also guided education and human services policy as Republican deputy director of education and human services in the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee. He previously served in the 80th Training Division, U.S. Army Reserve.

The trio of Klatt, Philps, and Strombes previously held a number of the top for-profit education institutions, including The Apollo Group, as clients in their work at Van Scoyoc Associates.