Gordon H. Hensley has 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. A former communications director and speechwriter for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), a U.S. Governor, three 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 unusually diverse public affairs background, grasp of policy, and hands-on understanding of media, polling, research and digital advocacy.
For the past 15 years, Hensley has gained extensive experience with 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 repeal efforts, Medicare and state Medicaid financing, 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. Hensley has worked for health care clients in Washington, D.C. and across the U.S. including Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and New Jersey.
Since 2015, Hensley has 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 many 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. Issues related to MAC pricing, federal and state PBM regulation, FDA drug repackaging, opioid abuse, “21st Century Cures” legislation and a pending CMS rule regarding Medicare Part D PBM fee reform are predominant policy matters.
Within this broad realm of healthcare, 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.
In addition to his NRSC work previously cited, Hensley has served as communications director, press secretary, speechwriter, consultant or staffer for President George H.W. Bush, Governor George Pataki (R-NY), Governor Buddy Roemer (R-LA), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Al D’Amato (R-NY), Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-GA), Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Reps. David Dreier (R-CA), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Sam Johnson (R-TX), Helen Bentley (R-MD), Jim Courter (R-NJ), Joe DioGuardi (R-NY), and the New York State GOP, California GOP, National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and U.S. Senate Republican Conference.
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, and serving in Nashville TN as senior communications adviser and writer for Sen. Bob Corker’s 2006 Senate campaign against Rep. Harold Ford. Hensley also spent time 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.