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Collaboration and Consensus: Pam Bailey Profile

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: October 3, 2008, from the February 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In 1981, she was nominated by President Reagan to serve as assistant secretary for public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1983, she rejoined the White House staff as special assistant to the President and deputy director of the White House Office of Public Affairs. While there, she initiated the Office of Communications Planning.

At the White House. Bailey developed what she called an appreciation for the governmental process and the importance of a strong FDA. Perhaps more importantly, however, it was there that she gained an appreciation for the importance of advocacy and communication in building support for policy initiatives. The Nixon and Reagan administrations had important processes in place for developing strategy collegially and in a multidisciplinary way, Bailey said, and it is that sort of process that she would like to build at CTFA.

Acknowledging that the CTFA staff is highly respected for its strength in legal, regulatory and scientific matters, she has worked over the past several months to build a similar expertise in government affairs and communications. Her White House experience showed her that while an organization may have the best policies in the world, without strong strategic underpinnings in legislative or government affairs, and an understanding of how to communicate them effectively, the organization is not going to be successful.

High-profile Hires

So, with all that in mind, Bailey took steps last year to enhance the CTFA’s government affairs team. John Hurson left government service to join CTFA as executive vice president of government affairs. He had served as a state representative in the Maryland General Assembly since 1991. “John Hurson,” Bailey said “has a remarkable record of leadership as one of the foremost state legislators in the country. His combination of legislative and leadership experience, as well as his in-depth knowledge of health care issues concerning all Americans, make him an important addition to CTFA’s government affairs team.”

Also joining the team was Washington operative Elvis Oxley, named senior director, government affairs. In his last job, Oxley was executive director of a prominent political organization in Washington, and has extensive experience in corporate marketing and communications. When announcing his hiring, Bailey said “Elvis Oxley combines a sophisticated understanding of Washington and Capitol Hill with a demonstrated track record of savvy business marketing. His 10 years of experience in business, public affairs and grassroots development will make him an important part of CTFA’s legislative outreach team.”