Alston & Bird is expanding its public policy and health care regulatory capabilities with the addition of Jane Lucas, former special assistant to the President for legislative affairs, who joins the firm as counsel in its Washington, D.C. office.
In a career spanning more than 10 years of government service, Lucas previously served as legislative director and general counsel to Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, current majority whip of the U.S. Senate. She also has held key policy and regulatory positions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“We are excited to welcome Jane to our team,” said Sen. Bob Dole, special counsel at Alston & Bird. “Her mix of White House experience, the work she’s done with my good friend Sen. Thune, and her time at Health and Human Services make her a talent that our clients will want in their corner.”
As White House special assistant to the President, Lucas spearheaded legislative strategy on a broad range of issues, including health care, where she worked closely with key stakeholders in HHS and other Executive Branch departments, Members of Congress and their staffs, and leaders from across various sectors.
A key part of Lucas’s position was managing the White House relationship with Capitol Hill. She was the principal point of contact for members and staff on the Senate Finance; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Aging; Judiciary; and Indian Affairs Committees. She was also the architect of White House legislative strategy behind the passage of the opioid relief law, the 2018 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, and served as legislative advisor to Ivanka Trump on issues spanning paid family leave, improving higher education, and changes to workforce development programs.
Lucas also served as deputy associate counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel, where she was responsible for legal matters involving HHS and the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.
Before her White House roles, Lucas worked in the HHS Office of Health Reform as principal deputy director. In that role, she helped start the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ “Patients over Paperwork” initiative, which has saved nearly $6 billion in regulatory costs since 2017. She also crafted the Administration’s analysis of regulatory options to strengthen health insurance markets under existing statutory language and worked with agency staff to evaluate proposals for improving Medicare and Medicaid.
“Clients want lawyers who understand the ins and outs of Washington and who can help address the complex issues they are facing,” said Mark Ray, Alston & Bird partner and chair of the firm’s Health Care Group. “Jane brings a decade of high-level government service and an insider’s view of how Washington works not only on the health care front but also on issues involving the judiciary, pensions, higher education, trade, and taxes.”
Lucas is the most recent government addition to Alston & Bird’s public policy and health care groups, joining Elinor Hiller, former CMS senior policy advisor, who rejoined the firm in March after four and a half years with the agency. Together, they add to the firm’s deep bench of former Executive Branch and congressional members and staffers, including the Hon. Earl Pomeroy, former North Dakota congressman, and Bob Siggins, his chief of staff; Tim Trysla, former CMS senior policy advisor; Michael Park, a former health policy counsel to Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance; Marilyn Yager, former deputy assistant to the President in the Clinton White House; and Mark Rayder, legislative staff to three former members of the House Committee on Appropriations.
“Jane is a seasoned advisor on health care and other policy issues with a track record of building strong relationships and leading successful teams in the Executive Branch, Congress, and industry,” said Dennis Garris, partner in charge of Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C. office. “Her firsthand experience with key policy issues will benefit our clients in helping them work through complicated legislative and regulatory challenges and get things done in this era of divided government.”
Lucas is admitted to practice in South Dakota, and her admission to the District of Columbia Bar is pending.
Note to Editors: Sen. John Thune recently paid tribute to Jane Lucas in remarks on the Senate floor and entered into the Congressional Record.