Our Firm’s Principals
Jeffrey J. Kimbell
Jeffrey J. Kimbell, President of Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, represents clients in the life sciences community seeking legislative remedies for their needs. Mr. Kimbell specializes in representing life science companies before the U.S. government. The firm provides strategic solutions to hand-selected clients seeking creation, modification, or proper implementation of public law.
Three years after establishing his firm, in January of 2001, Mr. Kimbell was named to President George W. Bush’s Transition Team Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He was the only consultant to serve on the Committee.
Prior to establishing Kimbell & Associates, Mr. Kimbell served as the first Executive Director of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) from 1994-1998. While at MDMA, he directed all Washington policy initiatives on behalf of MDMA’s member companies. During his tenure, the association grew from 25 companies to 130, an increase that can be directly attributed to a number of legislative victories, including passage of a landmark bill to overhaul the product approval process at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.In addition to the handling matters before the U.S Congress, Mr. Kimbell was also responsible for MDMA’s interaction with state and foreign governments and federal agencies of jurisdiction on tax and trade matters. In this capacity, he worked very closely with both the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). As the principal spokesperson for MDMA, Mr. Kimbell coordinated all communications with the media; the public and private financing communities on Wall Street and related venture capital firms; the U.S. Congress; the White House; HHS; and the FDA.
Prior to MDMA, Mr. Kimbell was a personal aide to former Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. (R-TN) and personal attaché to former Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger in the Washington office of the Tennessee-based law firm Baker, Worthington, Crossley & Stansberry. While at Baker-Worthington, Mr. Kimbell tracked legislative activity for a host of Fortune 500 clients.
In June 2006, The Hill recognized Mr. Kimbell as one of the top lobbyists in the medical device field in its “Lobby League.” Mr. Kimbell has contributed to or been interviewed by a host of trade and global news publications and television programs: Bloomberg’s Business News, Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), Congressional Quarterly, Forbes, The New York Times, MX Magazine (also serving on their editorial board), Scripps-Howard, Reuters, Time, The Washington Post, Roll Call, Politico, The Food & Drug Law Journal, and many others. Mr. Kimbell has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken before numerous industry groups, associations, and educational institutions, including within the last year: Harvard Business School, OCTANe Medical Device & Investor Forum, AAOS Chicago Ophthalmology Summit (ACOS), and Columbia University.
In addition to Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, Mr. Kimbell is Managing Director of Jackalope Real Estate, LLC (Park City, UT) and President of Magnum Entertainment Group, Inc. (Washington, D.C.).
A graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX, Mr. Kimbell earned his B.A. in Political Science. While at SMU, he worked for U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax, trade, and a significant portion of Medicare.
Mr. Kimbell is an avid sportsman; fly fishing, hunting, and skiing at locales throughout the world when U.S. Congress is in recess. Mr. Kimbell serves as Chairman of the Safari Club International (SCI) Political Action Committee (SCIPAC), Chairman of the SCI Hunter’s Defense Fund (HDF), and sits on the SCI Government Affairs Committee.
Lauren Randall Buckley
Group Vice President, Health Policy & Reimbursement
Lauren Randall Buckley, Group Vice President, Health Policy and Reimbursement, has nearly a decade of experience representing biopharmaceutical, medical device, durable medical equipment suppliers, specialty and biotech distributors, hospitals, insurers and other industry clients before the Administration and Congress on a variety of federal healthcare regulatory, policy, and legislative issues.
Prior to joining Kimbell & Associates, Ms. Buckley led the federal health policy portfolio at MedImmune. Although now a biologics research and development site, during the majority of Ms. Buckley’s employment, MedImmune operated as the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, with headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland and more than 3,500 employees.
For a substantial portion of the time Ms. Buckley was employed at MedImmune, she served as the sole employee in the Federal Government Affairs department, handling all federal policy and legislative matters, overseeing the PAC and federal lobbying disclosure requirements, and operating as a primary liaison to the Biotechnology Industry Organization on federal health issues.
Ms. Buckley’s time at MedImmune provided her with helpful insights regarding the support needs of health policy clients, whether the task is developing and executing short- and long-term tactical objectives, drafting comments on federal rulemakings, staying abreast of critical policy developments, preparing white papers, or creating presentations on health policy issues for corporate executives or cross-functional teams.
Before working in-house, Ms. Buckley practiced law at Sidley Austin LLP and DLA Piper. As a senior associate in the healthcare regulatory practice group at Sidley, she focused extensively on federal policy and legislative issues. While working at Sidley, she gained significant experience representing clients from across the healthcare industry on complex federal policy issues and honed her client-service skills.
Ms. Buckley graduated cum laude from the American University, Washington College of Law. She received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with high distinction and with honors from Penn State University.
Jodie Low Lockhart
Group Vice President, Government Affairs & Legislative Policy
Jodie L. Lockhart, Group Vice President of Government Affairs & Legislative Policy, has been with the firm since 2002. Ms. Lockhart focuses on the development, advocacy and implementation of policies on behalf of life sciences companies, through both legislative and regulatory means. She maintains strong relationships with members and legislative staff on the House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees, as well as Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) and Finance Committees. Since joining the firm, Ms. Lockhart has lobbied on a number of medical device, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical issues, including provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA), the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act, the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), the Medical Device User Fee Modernization Act (MDUFMA), and the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA).
Ms. Lockhart served as Executive Director of the Coalition for Dialysis Patient Choice from 2005 to 2007. In this capacity she managed all federal activity for the Coalition including submitting hearing testimony, identifying sponsors and co-sponsors for legislation, and representing the Coalition in meetings with Members of Congress and their staff, as well as policy-makers within the Administration.
Ms. Lockhart previously worked in corporate communications for Healthcare Realty Trust, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in Nashville, TN. She received her Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with concentrations in Economics and Mathematics. She holds her Master of Public Health in Health Policy from George Washington University.
Keith S. Studdard
Vice President, Government Affairs & Political Strategy
Mr. Studdard spent two and a half years in the House of Representatives serving as Legislative Director to U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Blackburn currently serves as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee where she sits on four critical subcommittees including the Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. She also serves on the House Budget Committee and is a founding member of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. Finally, Rep. Blackburn is a House Deputy Whip and serves as a Vice-Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
During his time with Rep. Blackburn, Keith was involved in debate and negotiations over numerous pieces of health care related legislation including the Affordable Care Act, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, and the Drug Quality and Safety Act.
Prior to his time on Capitol Hill, Keith directed federal lobbying efforts for the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the professional organization representing more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medical students. In his role as Director of Congressional Affairs, Mr. Studdard served as the organization’s head lobbyist during the health care reform debate and directed efforts to inform state chapters on the status and content of the legislation.
Before joining the AOA’s lobbying team, Keith spent the 2008 election cycle as Director of the Osteopathic Political Action Committee (OPAC). During this period, OPAC’s receipts increased by over $100,000 due to significant increase in number of individual donors. Mr. Studdard served as point person with the OPAC Board to determine contribution strategies on behalf of OPAC.
Keith began his career in Washington, DC at Kimbell and Associates where he served two years as government affairs associate, comptroller, and chief of staff to Mr. Kimbell. He also has significant experience in federal campaigns and political strategy having worked on multiple presidential, Senate and House campaigns over the last decade. In addition, during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL., Keith was directly involved with the writing of the Republican Platform serving as the lead staff person for the subcommittee overseeing health care, tort reform, education, and family issues.
Keith graduated Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in mathematics and chemistry.
Our Firm’s Staff
Vice President, Finance & Operations
Chris May brings a broad array of expertise in financial and operational leadership experience from Wall Street & Corporate America to Government Affairs & Political Finance. Chris has had extensive experience in roles at a Fortune 100 corporation, global government affairs firm, NYC-based hedge fund, and currently leads all financial management, strategic planning, client management, and firm-wide operations of Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, Inc.
Chris began his career in Washington, DC as an analyst and PAC manager at BGR Group, which is where he honed his skills in running a full-service government affairs shop. After his tenure at BGR Group, Chris participated in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) with Lockheed Martin, where he completed rotational roles in financial planning, M&A, corporate strategy and business development. During the LDP experience, Chris was able to refine his finance, operations, and leadership management skills through leading multiple projects and successfully collaborating with high-level executives.
He is active in Washington, DC as a member of the public relations steering committee at the L’Enfant Society, a member of the Trust for the National Mall, a member of MaverickPAC, a member of The Network, and co-founder of the Corporate Congressional Coalition.
Chris grew up outside of New Orleans, where he became an avid outdoorsman and golfer. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi in Finance and Economics and he holds an MBA with a concentration in Strategy and Public Policy from George Washington University.
Chris also oversees the financial management and operations for Magnum Entertainment Group, Inc. a live music event company, and Jackalope Real Estate, LLC.
Senior Director, Health Policy & Reimbursement
Brenda F. Abdelall has significant experience representing pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, and durable medical equipment suppliers before Congress and the Administration.
She worked in the healthcare regulatory practice of the preeminent law firm, Sidley Austin LLP, where she developed subject matter expertise in Medicare and Medicaid coverage, reimbursement and coding, as well as the Affordable Care Act. Mrs. Abdelall has advised some of the largest pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturers on regulatory rulemaking, strategic public policy counseling, and on the development of successful coverage, coding, and reimbursement strategies. She has a keen understanding of relevant statutory and regulatory frameworks, including special knowledge of the 340B program, telemedicine coverage, and public health preparedness programs.
Mrs. Abdelall graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in December 2002. She earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in December 2005, where she was an editor of the Michigan Journal of Law Reform and a board member of the Criminal Law Society. After graduating from law school, Mrs. Abdelall was a D.C. Bar Pro Bono Graduate Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Legislative Office.
Kenneth L. Hodge
Director, Government Affairs & Legislative Policy
Kenny Hodge has been with Kimbell & Associates since June of 2010 and currently serves as the Director, Government Affairs and Legislative Policy. Kenny assists with the legislative policy and government affairs work at Kimbell & Associates including drafting of weekly firm memos, covering Congressional hearings, analyzing specific legislation, maintaining contacts with Capitol Hill staff and members, particularly with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
Kenny has developed political campaign experience working for several Senate and Congressional campaigns during the 2010 mid-term election cycle, assisting in data collection, data analysis, policy research, and other field activities. In 2012, Kenny worked for another Senate campaign, attending county conventions and interfacing with state delegates on behalf of the campaign. Kenny has been a speaker for various events, including a seminar course at the University of Columbia School of Public Health.
Kenny was raised in Louisville, KY and graduated from the Louisville Collegiate High School as an AP Scholar. Kenny attended the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of the men’s tennis team for three years. He finished pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Louisville , spending a year as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Louisville women’s tennis team. He is currently on the Board for Safari Club International’s DC Chapter, a group focused on preserving fishing and hunting access and the conservation of vulnerable fish and game species.
James J. Hennelly
Senior Manager, Health Policy & Reimbursement
Jamie Hennelly, Senior Manager of the Health Policy & Reimbursement team, joins Kimbell & Associates after graduating cum laude from American University Washington College of Law. Jamie focused his studies on regulatory healthcare law and policy, having interned with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in several capacities. At the HHS Office of Counsel to the Inspector General, he worked on various fraud and abuse matters affecting health care providers and medical device and pharmaceutical companies. Jamie also interned with the HHS Office of General Counsel in the General Law Division and at the HHS Departmental Appeals Board, where he worked with Administrative Appeals Judges who issued final administrative decisions on Medicare payment and reimbursement appeals. In addition to his work at HHS, Jamie interned with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Vaccine Litigation.
While in law school, Jamie was involved with his school’s health law program, including serving as the Executive Editor of the Health Law & Policy Brief, Vice President of the Student Health Law & Justice Initiative, and Note & Comment Editor for the American University Business Law Review. Jamie also served as a research assistant to two health law faculty members at the law school. Prior to law school, Jamie graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in English Literature. He enjoys reading and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Madeline K. Kroll
Manager, Executive Services & Political Operations
Madeline Kroll, Manager of Executive Services & Political Operations, joins Kimbell and Associates after spending the past year on Capitol Hill working in the office of Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). She worked assisting the Senator with scheduling meetings, assembling briefing materials, and through providing constituent support services. Madeline now serves Kimbell and Associates through directly supporting the President and staff in their day-to-day roles as well as through the overall maintenance of the firm’s logistical and operational functions.
Here in DC, Madeline spends her time volunteering as an Alumni Advisor for her sorority at George Washington University, acting as Philanthropy and Fundraising Chair for the Kapitol Kappas alumni board, and serving breakfast at Miriam’s Kitchen. When not volunteering, she can be found cheering on her favorite football team, the Idaho Vandals.
Madeline was raised in Boise, ID and attended University of Idaho, graduating with a degree in International Studies and French. She was active in various university groups including Greek Life, Student Government, and the Center for Volunteerism.
Brett H. Meeks
Manager, Government Affairs & Health Policy
Brett Meeks works within both the Government Affairs and Health Policy teams to help clients through the entire spectrum of federal government outreach. Brett joined Kimbell and Associates following completion of law school at the University of Mississippi where he focused on health care law and policy. He brings a wide range of health care experiences to K+A, having worked for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and a private physician office in Memphis where he helped monitor regulatory and compliance issues, including regaining CLIA certification for the on-site laboratory.
Prior to law school, Brett spent four years working in the United States Senate in the office of U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in both legislative and media roles. He maintains close connections with many offices in the Senate and the House.
In addition to his JD from the University of Mississippi, Brett has a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MA in Counterterrorism and Conflict Management in Stability Operations from the National Defense University.
Health Policy Fellow
Lauren Fleming, fellow for the Health Policy & Reimbursement team, is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health in Health Policy at George Washington University.
Before joining Kimbell & Associates, Lauren worked as a research analyst for a strategic health policy and care coordination consulting firm that focused on the development and support of Medicaid & Medicare MCOs. During her time there, she assisted a health plan implement a dual-eligibles line of business and provided research and analysis support to multiple client engagements.
Lauren graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia College of Public Health in May of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health. During her time as an undergraduate, Lauren served as an intern with the East Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross in community disaster education. Lauren also worked as an undergraduate researcher with a UGA professor in infectious disease epidemiology.
Rob Pyron joins Kimbell and Associates after graduating cum laude from the Trent Lott Institute at the University of Mississippi. Rob graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy Leadership and a minor in Business Management. At the University of Mississippi, he was very involved on campus being elected by the students as Mr. Ole Miss and President of the Student Alumni Council as well as holding several officer positions in his fraternity. In his position as Mr. Ole Miss, Rob worked closely with Miss Ole Miss to successfully organize a community service project that donated school supplies to an underprivileged school in the Mississippi Delta.
Previously, Rob interned for Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) and Adams and Reese, LLP. In each of these roles, he supported the staff with various administrative tasks related to legislative projects and research while assisting in all day-to-day operational activities.
Rob is from Crystal Springs, Mississippi, where he became a sports enthusiast and avid outdoorsman.