The Congressional Award Foundation Welcomes Four New Members to National Board

Anthony Crowell, Jonathan Heafitz, Chris Leahy, Mike Skahill Join Board of Directors

Washington, DC (October 10, 2017) — The Congressional Award Foundation announces the election of four new Board Members – Anthony Crowell, Jonathan Heafitz, Chris Leahy, and Michael Skahill.

“Collectively, our new members embody the spirit of the Award and share a vision for the community we strive to build. In light of our rapid growth, these professionals will provide business acumen and introduce the program to diverse new networks,” said Paxton Baker, Chairman of The Congressional Award National Board of Directors.

Anthony Crowell serves as Dean and President of New York Law School, one of the oldest law schools in the State of New York. One of his crowning achievements in this role has been the creation and implementation of the school’s first comprehensive strategic plan. Crowell was credited in introducing the nation’s first Two-Year J.D. Honors program, which reduces the cost and time to earn a law degree by one-third.

Crowell’s previous work experience includes membership in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s senior executive management team, counseling top officials in the New York City Law Department, and leading the International City/County Management Association’s government affairs and policy committee. Anthony currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Brooklyn Public Library. Crowell is also a Congressional Award Silver Medalist.

Jonathan Heafitz is the Assistant Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the nation’s trade association for pharmacy benefit managers. In this role, Mr. Heafitz has led advocacy efforts for the industry on Capitol Hill for more than a decade.

Prior to joining PCMA, Mr. Heafitz served in a variety of legislative roles in both the House and Senate, including in the offices of Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Mark Dayton (D-MN).

Chris Leahy is an accomplished executive leader with over twenty-five years of corporate affairs, communications, public policy, and government experience. In his current role as Bayer’s Vice President and Head of Government Relations and Public Policy, Mr. Leahy leads the government relations and policy platform and advises U.S. and global leadership regarding key government regulation and policy issues. Bayer is a leading global life sciences company with a 150-year history and core competencies is the areas of healthcare and agriculture.

Prior to joining Bayer, Chris was Vice President of Federal Government Relations for Peabody Energy. Chris also served on Capitol Hill as a Policy Coordinator and Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Michael Skahill is Vice President of Government Affairs for Smithfield Foods, Inc., a global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia. In this position, Skahill plays a key role in the development of policies and strategies to engage governments, multilateral organizations, and other key stakeholders in domestic and international markets.

Skahill lends his talent to various industry leadership boards and committees, including serving as Chairman of the American Romania Business Council, Vice-Chair of the American Poland Business Council, and Treasurer of the US-China Agriculture and Food Partnership. Mike also currently serves as a Director of the National Pork Board, elected by the nation’s pork producers and confirmed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 2016.

Prior to joining Smithfield Foods in 1998, Skahill has thirteen years of international meat merchandising and trading experience with the Louis Dreyfus Corporation, the United States Meat Export Federation, and Cargill, Inc.

The Congressional Award is U.S. Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a young person through the Senate and House. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program encourages and recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 14-23.

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