Gordon H. Hensley has over 25 years of senior-level government, private-sector and national campaign communications experience in Washington, D.C. and on the ground in over a dozen states, including New York, Texas and California.
A former communications director and speechwriter for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), a U.S. Governor, four Capitol Hill lawmakers and a variety of competitive U.S. Senate, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, Hensley has also served as senior on-the-record, on-camera spokesperson in many of these engagements. Those working with him on high-stakes advocacy projects benefit significantly from his diverse public affairs background, grasp of policy, and hands-on understanding of media, polling, research and digital advocacy.
Within the collective realm of politics, healthcare and the private sector, Hensley has helped lead crisis response to corporate malfeasance allegations, federal and state investigations, federal regulatory disputes, reputation management issues, and dealing with the media aftermath of ill-considered public comments. Hensley is also involved in content projects related to federal and state budget policy, federal tax reform and federal labor policy.
For the past 15 years, Hensley has focused on health policy issues and client work related to the U.S. post-acute care sector. Primary focus has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ongoing repeal efforts, Medicare and state Medicaid financing, SNF economics, Medicaid managed care, value-based purchasing, bundled payment reform, CMS regulatory oversight of SNFs, IRFs and other congregate settings, federal quality metrics, and the business economics related to increased hospital/SNF care integration.
Since 2015, Hensley has also focused with colleagues on the challenging task of building a successful Washington-based coalition start-up — the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) — advocating for Long Term Care (LTC) pharmacies and their patients. Despite the fact the DC pharmacy space is already populated by larger, activist associations and advocacy groups, SCPC has quickly established itself with several legislative, regulatory and public relations victories pertinent to the growing LTC pharmacy sector. Predominant policy matters include Issues related to 2019-’20 PBM rebate reform now before the Grassley/Wyden-led Senate Finance Committee, federal and state PBM regulation, MAC pricing, FDA drug repackaging, opioid abuse, “21st Century Cures” legislation and various pending CMS rules.
In addition to his NRSC work previously noted, Hensley has served as state media director for Pres. George H.W. Bush; communications director and speechwriter for Gov. Buddy Roemer (R-LA) and U.S. Reps. Sam, Johnson (R-TX), Helen Bentley (R-MD), Jim Courter (R-NY) and Joe DioGuardi (R-NY); and press secretary for the U.S. Senate GOP Conference, chaired by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). He has also served as a communications consultant and/or speechwriter for Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Dole (R-KS), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Paul Coverdell (R-GA), Gordon Smith (R-OR); U.S. Reps. David Dreier (R-CA) and Vito Fossella (R-NY); the New York State and California GOP, and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) (For specific sequential detail, see Linked-in profile)
Despite formally ending political work in 2000, Hensley’s “one-off” campaign engagements over the past decade include collaborating on WI Governor Scott Walker’s 2016 presidential announcement speech and policy rollouts; serving in Nashville TN as senior communications adviser for Sen. Bob Corker’s 2006 Senate campaign against Rep. Harold Ford; and working in St. Paul, MN for GOP Senator Norm Coleman’s 2008 recount against Sen. Al Franken.
Hensley has appeared at the Harvard JFK School as a guest lecturer, and as a speaker or panelist at the National Press Club, LSU, UT-Austin, Rutgers University/Eagleton Institute and National Journal/Hotline campaign forums. He was previously named one of the top 50 most influential DC-based campaign operatives by Roll Call, and taught U.S. campaign techniques in Russia during the early post-Cold War Yeltsin era on behalf of the International Republican Institute (IRI).
From Brooklyn NY, Hensley grew up in Chappaqua NY and attended Milton Academy, near Boston MA. He studied international economics at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland intending to transfer to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and ultimately a diplomatic career. Instead, he parlayed an RNC internship into a $40 per week job on Ronald Reagan’s 1980 New Hampshire campaign, got hooked on politics, and enrolled at George Washington Univ. to study American Literature and Government while simultaneously pursuing campaign work.
A devoted 40 miles per week runner and live music fan, Hensley serves on the Board of Headcount.org — a non-partisan voter registration group based in NYC.