CONFECTIONER. When she is not lobbying, Melissa Dodson Schooley is wrangling with her toddlers and kneading pastry dough. "I'm a big chef. I like to do pastries," says the onetime fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee, adding, "Fancy fare, the more gourmet, the better."
Schooley, who is joining Medtronic, Inc., as senior director of government affairs, has advocated on behalf of insurers and other private entities in the healthcare industry for over a decade. "I kind of feel like a native," says Schooley, who never left D.C. after graduating from American University's Washington College of Law in 2001.
At Medtronic, Schooley will perform a "traditional lobbying function," she says. "We're going to be carefully watching some of the FDA reforms and then, obviously, the changes that are coming out as a result of healthcare reform. ... A lot of the new healthcare reform delivery systems [will] implicate everybody: hospitals, pharmacies, insurers." Medtronic is a global medical-device manufacturer with 40,000 employees and a presence in 120 countries.
Schooley grew up in Bethlehem, Pa., and received her bachelor's degree from James Madison University. As a law student at American, she clerked for the Senate Judiciary Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee, where she drafted legislative materials for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
"I wanted to get a little flavor for the Hill, and I really enjoyed it," Schooley says. "But I was also kind of poor, and when I got an offer to work [in the private sector], I was like, 'Man, I could really use some food, and this studio apartment's getting kind of small.' In hindsight, it probably would have been a little better to stay on the Hill a little longer and get more breadth there, but I've been able to still develop a lot of relationships, fortunately."
Schooley arrives at Medtronic from Coventry Health Care, where she was vice president of government affairs. Prior to that, she was director and counsel of federal government affairs at the Health Insurance Association of America.
FINANCIAL SPEAK. Steven Adamske will succeed Andrew Williams as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department. Adamske, who is currently communications director for House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, will be a spokesman for the administration as it implements the 2,300-page financial regulatory reform bill signed into law by President Obama last week. Adamske is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, and worked for former President Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, former Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J.
This article appears in the July 31, 2010, edition of NJ Daily.