Ilisa Halpern Paul, MPP

President, District Policy Group


Recognized by The Hill as a Top Lobbyist for the past several years (2015-20), Ilisa Halpern Paul has deep experience and command of a wide range of domestic health, education, food/agriculture and workforce issues. Ilisa has particularly extensive knowledge of health care financing and delivery system reform, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Affordable Care Act, digital health and telemedicine, home health, public health and. She is a master of the federal budget and appropriations processes, helping clients successfully secure programmatic and community project funding.

Ilisa partners with for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations to develop strategies to advance their federal legislative, regulatory, programmatic, policy and business goals before Congress and the Executive Branch. Ilisa collaborates with her clients to create and implement comprehensive federal government relations programs; working with Ilisa, clients receive direct lobbying representation and strategic counsel in legislative, regulatory and grassroots advocacy, coalition building and third-party stakeholder alliance development. Clients value Ilisa’s strategic and political insight, innovative messaging and well-written and designed advocacy materials, creative problem solving and ability to anticipate federal policy challenges and opportunities. Ilisa also helps to plan and facilitate policy meetings, including serving as the moderator or a speaker for conferences, roundtables and panel discussions.

Federal Government Advocacy

Ilisa draws on 30+ years of recorded success in leading clients through government relations strategic planning processes and in designing and implementing advocacy programs that meet internal organizational goals and advance and elevate policy issues on the national agenda. Clients benefit from Ilisa’s relationships building with and skilled lobbying of federal policymakers in Congress and federal agencies and rely on Ilisa’s encyclopedic knowledge of issues, including:

  • Health care financing and delivery system reform
  • Medicare and Medicaid payment policy
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Digital health and telemedicine
  • Value-based care
  • Home health and post-acute care
  • Public health and prevention
  • Federal policy and programs related to chronic disease, cancer, behavioral health and rural health
  • Federal budget and appropriations processes
  • Federal policy related to workforce training, apprenticeships and internships
  • Federal policy pertaining to cell-cultured proteins, including seafood

Government and Nonprofit Experience

Prior to joining the private sector, Ilisa served as director of federal government relations for the American Cancer Society and worked as director of federal affairs with the American Public Health Association (APHA). Ilisa began her Washington, D.C., career on the policy staff of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) following research assistant positions with Adeza Biomedical and the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program.

Personal Interests

When not engaged in influencing the outcome of federal policy, Ilisa enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband, Scott, and their twin sons, especially hiking with their dog, Coco, taking in the boys’ various sporting activities, and cheering on UCLA and Penn State in both football and basketball. For the past several years, Ilisa has been learning to play the drums and has been practicing yoga.



Georgetown University

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
B.A. in English Literature

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Public Health Association
  • Women in Government Relations
  • Board of Visitors, English Department, UCLA, 2018-present
  • Morning Consult, Op-Ed Contributor, 2014-16
  • Give an Hour — Executive Board Member, 2006-11
  • Hematology Oncology News & Issues — Editorial Advisory Board, 2004-11

Civic Activities

  • Room Parent, The Lab School of Washington, 2016-present
  • Chair, Parent Steering Committee, DCJCC Preschool, 2012-13


  • The Hill — Top Lobbyists, 2015-20
  • American Association of Bioanalysts and National Independent Laboratory Association — William N. Reich Outstanding Achievement Award, 2009
  • Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority — Young Alumni of the Year, 2007

Awards Methodology

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