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The Political Life - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. A show about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

Hosted by Jim O'Brien, The Political Life introduces you to the personalities and "day in the life" experiences of some of the most interesting and dynamic individuals in the field. 

Sep 14, 2020

This week on the show we've got two Senior Policy Advisors from Holland & Knight's Regulatory & Government Affairs practice - Shawna Watley and Beth Viola.

Holland & Knight's government affairs practice been recognized among the top 10 federal lobbying and law firms in Washington, D.C., by Influence, National JournalRoll Call and Washington Business Journal.

Shawna Watley is a senior policy professional and strategist with more than 16 years of experience in public policy, political, legislative and regulatory counseling, and creative solutions to corporate, nonprofit and governmental issues at the federal level. She has cultivated working relationships on the federal, state and local levels of government. This includes professional relationships with leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate, moderate Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Shawna was the principal owner of the Francis Group LLC, where she was retained by clients to lead efforts in government relations and develop strategy, programming and implementation for federal policy initiatives. She also previously served as director of congressional affairs for the Democratic Leadership Council and the Public Policy Institute, where she was responsible for the development of strategy, programming and implementation for the Congressional Affairs Department.

Shawna has a podcast - WIILD Courageous Conversations - for women invested in leadership development. She was also part of the team that produced "Colored My Mind," a film that won "Best Documentary" in the Emerging Filmmakers showcase at Cannes Film Festival 2013. 

Beth Viola is a senior policy advisor in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office where she is among the leadership team for the firm's Energy and Natural Resources Industry Sector Group. Ms. Viola focuses on energy and the environment, tax, trade, appropriations and public relations.

Beth has helped her clients impact federal energy legislation including the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. She has also guided clients through regulatory matters including the Clean Power Plan and implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. 

In addition to her domestic policy work, Ms. Viola has guided clients through major international climate negotiations, including United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings and development of the Paris Agreement, as well as Arctic climate issues and the Arctic Council. She frequently speaks on domestic and international energy and climate issues and has been quoted extensively in the media.

Previously, Beth served as a senior advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In this role, she advised the president, vice president and senior government officials on environmental and energy issues, concentrating on climate change, natural resources and smart growth. She was also the primary White House liaison on these issues to elected officials, industry, environmental, religious and labor leaders, as well as the media.

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