Latvian intern, Vladlens Kovalevs, got an insider view on American policymaking and DC living. He fulfilled his internship at Cassidy & Associates in their National Security Practice, which focuses on defense initiatives, program funding, policy and regulations related to the national security industries, defense and health care programs, defense technology acquisition, and federal marketing of national security relevant products. During his internship, his responsibilities included research and writing, business development meetings, coverage of hearings and conferences, as well as assisting staff with their support of current clients’ objectives and new business development. He became familiar with the federal legislative and regulatory process, and was engaged in the entirety of the federal lawmaking process, from the moment that a bill is crafted, introduced, debated and passed. Finally, he was introduced to the resources that enabled him to track legislative movement of bills or agency regulations.
Vladlens was under the careful supervision of Barry Rhoads, Chairman of Cassidy & Associates. Mr. Roads has decades of experience assisting clients with legislative and appropriations programs. In addition, Vladlens was able to draw on from the expertise of Jesse Barba, Associate, and Allison Hughes, Legislative Assistant. A top priority for Cassidy & Associates is to encourage their interns to grow their professional networks. Thus, the team engaged Vladlens in staff happy hours, and invited him to events around the city and on Capitol Hill. Specifically, Vladlens stayed informed about policymaking by attending the Politico Playbook interviews, Bloomberg policy breakfasts, Atlantic Council foreign affairs discussions, AEI economic policy discussions, and Brookings financial market policy discussions.
In addition to his internship responsibilities, Vladlens managed to volunteer his time to the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, which is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering the next generation of foreign policy leadership. As for his achievements during his exchange period, Vladlens is proud to have completed the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at American University – one of the leading lobbying and government relations programs in the U.S. and globally. He is also grateful for having had the opportunity to expand his clients’ and industry issues portfolio, using every opportunity that DC has to offer.
Vladlens points to two individuals who had the greatest impact for him: “Two persons I communicated and worked with the most: Chairman of Cassidy and Associates Barry Rhoads who was my main mentor throughout my time at Cassidy and helped me to understand the essentials of the way D.C. and lobbying works. Also, Russell J. Thomasson, Senior Vice President, who was a great conversation partner and is extremely knowledgeable about Baltic and our region matters.”
His immediate plans back home are to establish government relations and public affairs firms and to use the experience he gained at Cassidy to form an understanding of the decision makers and the general public in relation to government and public affairs matters.