Working with clients to identify their pressing problems, we develop feasible and actionable policy solutions that can drive social impact and engage both Republicans and Democrats.
We directly advocate with Congressional and Regulatory Affairs on a bipartisan basis. Our model differs from traditional partisan government affairs firms in that we also work with client advocates and employees to amplify your issues while engaging your base.
Traditional government affairs firms often do not draft legislation in-house, adding months to the process. We are led by licensed attorneys who work with you every step of the way and ensure policy objectives are met with sound legislative text to expedite introduction.
We provide public affairs services to help nonprofits and schools pass legislation and receive federal grant funding. These services include: Federal Grant Writing and Consulting, Partnership Development, Capitol Hill Advocacy Days, Congressional Briefings, Media Engagement (traditional and social), and Grassroots Mobilization.
Katrina Velasquez, Esq., M.A.
Katrina is the Founder and Managing Principal of Center Road Solutions. A nationally and internationally recognized advocate and attorney, she specializes in turning partisan social issues into noncontroversial, bipartisan issues, and driving them across the finish line. Katrina offers over a decade of experience in federal advocacy, grants, and law to guide clients through the federal process, including work with the U.S. Department of Justice, Health & Human Services Administration, Homeland Security, as well as political campaigns, law firms, and nonprofits such as Baker & McKenzie, LLP and International Organization for Migration.
Katrina’s legislative achievements include passing the first-ever eating disorders legislation entitled the Anna Westin Act of 2015 within 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-225), securing $5 million within the FY 2017 and 2018 Appropriations Act in new research funding to help military members and their families, and expanding access to $50 million within the FY 2018 Appropriations Act for schools across the nation to research and pilot school threat assessment within federal grants.
Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Masters of Arts in International Politics from American University
Dual Bachelors of Arts in Law & Society and Public Relations, Purdue University.
Allison Ivie, M.P.P./M.A.
Allison is the Senior Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs at Center Road Solutions. With multiple years of experience working with innovative pharmaceutical and medical device companies, Allison has fostered strategic partnerships and legislative action to raise disease awareness and the need for novel drug therapies, devices and diagnostics. Allison’s career began in Washington, D.C. as a Women’s Congressional Policy Institute Fellow in Representative Mike Thompson’s office (D-CA). During her tenure in the Congressman’s office she drafted and introduced the bipartisan Medicare Telehealth Parity Act (H.R. 5380) and negotiated harsher penalties for illegal marijuana cultivation on federal lands that were adopted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Masters in Public Policy and Masters of Arts in Women and Gender Studies, Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Dual Bachelors of Arts in General English and Multicultural Gender Studies, California State University, Chico
Shanna Mason, J.D.
Shanna Mason is the Legal Clerk at Center Road Solutions. Shanna is a recent law school graduate with experience in labor and employment law and federal regulatory law. Her past experience includes serving as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, law clerkship at Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murphy & Welch, P.C., a Clerk Intern at Bedford Municipal Court, and interning with Center Road Solutions. Shanna also holds extensive legal research and persuasive communication experience through her roles as the Production Editor for the Journal of Law and Technology and a finalist in the Nell Hennessy Moot Court Competition.
Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Dual Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Economics, The Pennsylvania State University
Jacqueline Dolata, MBA
Federal Grants Specialist
Jacqueline Dolata serves as the Federal Grants Specialist aiding nonprofits and schools in identifying, writing, securing, and managing federal grants. She has spent the majority of her 14 year career writing grants to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) focused on community based approaches to addressing health disparities. As manager of the Case Western Reserve University Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Jacqueline has helped secure millions of dollars in federal funding to support efforts that engage and empower local nonprofits to tackle issues around social determinants of health. She specializes in turning the complex grantmaking process into actionable steps by developing online toolkits, professional networks, and other resources to assist both academicians and community nonprofits to have a better understanding of available funding opportunities, the grant writing process, and the value of strong community-academic partnerships. Jacqueline also directs a pilot funding and mentoring program for early stage researchers that awards small grants to those interested in building capacity for larger community based research funding.
Masters in Business Administration in Health Care, Baldwin Wallace University
Bachelors in Biology, Mercyhurst University
Elizabeth Peters is a Graduate Intern at Center Road Solutions and is currently finishing her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University. Her past experience includes Public Health and Communications Consulting for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and was also a Project Assistant for a Washington, D.C. based law firm.
Master of Public Health, George Washington University (Est. 2020)
Bachelor of Arts in Government and Psychology, Georgetown University
Government Relations & Public Affairs Associate
Luke is the Government Relations and Public Affairs Associate at Center Road Solutions. Luke began his career with the North Dakota coordinated campaign and the Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) Senate re-election campaign in North Dakota for the 2018 midterm elections, where he worked as a field organizer recruiting and training campaign volunteers. Afterwards, he returned to his hometown of Washington D.C. and served in the government relations and public affairs arenas as a Fellow with Monument Advocacy, where he worked on issues in the clean transportation and technology spaces, and then as Public Affairs Coordinator with CTIA – The Wireless Association.
Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Rebecca Helfrich is the Undergraduate Intern at Center Road Solutions. She is a junior at American University studying political science with a general policy concentration and a minor in communications. Previously, she has interned with Pennsylvania State House Representative Lori A. Mizgorski, which provided Rebecca with early exposure to the importance of bipartisan partnerships in policy.
Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, American University (In Progress)
“Center Road Solutions is more than a consulting firm. They are an exceptional partner that brings passion and dedication to every project and every client. They have helped our organization expand our relationships on both sides of the aisle and pass life-saving legislation including the STOP School Violence Act. We are so grateful to have them on our team and recommend them highly to advocates across fields.”
Issues: Maternal Mental Health Care
Passing Historic Eating Disorders Legislation
>> This achievement represented the first time in history that Congress passed eating disorder specific legislation.
The Eating Disorders Coalition worked with Katrina Velasquez in early 2015 with the objective of advancing eating disorders specific legislation to help early identify eating disorders and increase access to treatment.
Center Road Solutions drafted the Anna Westin Act of 2016 (H.R. 2515/S. 1865), secured bipartisan bill sponsorship, led grassroots activism and partnership development, and navigated the legislation from introduction to passage, being signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2016 with the 21st Century Cures Act.
Passage of the STOP School Violence Act
> Passed the STOP School Violence Act within the FY 2018 Omnibus, which provides $1.075 billion in new Department of Justice school violence prevention grants.
Working with Sandy Hook Promise, we drafted, lobbied, and drove the passage of the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act through the 2018 Omnibus. The 2018 Omnibus appropriated $75 million in school violence prevention grants for FY 2018, and is currently authorized at $100 million in grants for each of the fiscal years 2019-2028.
Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program
>> >>Eating disorders becomes new topic area for research funding to help our military members and their families, expected $5 million in funding.
For Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018, we led the charge for eating disorders to be eligible for research funding through the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s (CDMRP) Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Under the PRMRP funding stream, $5.4 million in FY 2017 and $5 million in FY 2018 will become available for eating disorders research specifically designed to help military members and their families affected by the illness.
Capitol Hill Days for Advocates and Executives
>> >>>>We organized numerous Capitol Hill Days for advocates and executives, resulting in over 60 bipartisan Congressional and Senate legislative co-sponsors per event
– Craft concise and calculated advocacy message
– Train Advocates and Executives on messaging and meeting strategy
– Schedule meetings with advocates/executives’ Congressional Staff/Members
– Secure no-to-low cost venues on Capitol Hill for Message Training
– Develop agendas and meeting-specific talking points
– Manage day-of logistics management, registration, and troubleshooting
– Follow-up with all offices after Hill Day