With significant experience in the U.S. Congress and White House, Layth Elhassani helps clients around the world navigate the U.S. political and regulatory landscape so they can achieve key business goals.
Mr. Elhassani most recently served as Special Assistant to President Obama in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs from 2012 to 2015. In his role as a White House liaison, he maintained relationships with roughly 20 Democratic and Republican Senate offices and attended weekly Senate Democratic Chiefs of Staff strategy meetings. He also played a critical role in advocating for various Obama administration legislative priorities, including:
- Health care: engaged with key federal agencies, White House components and Capitol Hill on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and through enactment of health care legislation such as pharmaceutical compounding and track-and-trace legislation (the Drug Quality Security Act and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act).
- Cybersecurity: teamed with National Security Council and National Economic Council experts and maintained outreach to Congress on Administration proposals expanding government and private sector coordination on cybersecurity, and protecting student personal information.
- Immigration: worked with White House policy experts on immigration reform.
- Education: successfully brokered 2012 and 2013 compromises on student loan interest rates; engaged with Administration experts through several stages of the Gainful Employment rulemaking; and represented the Obama administration’s position on efforts to reform the Elementary & Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act.
- Labor: worked with the Department of Labor, White House components and key Hill offices on a proposal to modify the definition and requirements of fiduciaries providing investment advice, and on Administration efforts to modernize the Fair Labor Standards Act and raise the minimum wage.
While serving at the White House, Mr. Elhassani also managed the legislative relationship between White House components (such as the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Public Engagement, and the White House Communications and Counsel Offices) and the:
- Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor;
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP);
- The Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management;
- Department of Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs; and
- Department of Veterans Affairs and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Mr. Elhassani previously served as the Legislative Director for Senator Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), building a new office’s legislative operation from the ground up, leading the policy team’s effort on key legislative agenda items, including the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform; and advising Senator Bennet through key Senate Banking Committee hearings during the collapse of AIG.