Alex DelPizzo and Marc Cadin dispel myths about lobbying

Today the VOH cohort participated in a roundtable discussion with alumni Marc Cadin (VSB ’96) an

Marc Cadin

Alex DelPizzo

d Alex DelPizzo (CLAS ’98). Marc is the Chief Operating Officer at the Association for Advanced Life Unde

rwriting (AALU), which advocates on behalf of the life insurance industry, and Alex is a partner at Tho

rn Run Partners, a government affairs firm working with organizations across a range of sectors including health care and infrastructure.


Lobbying firms have taken on a generally negative perception, and in 2016 several presidential candidates, most notably Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, blamed “the lobbyists” for the gridlock on Capitol Hill. Meeting with lobbyists might therefore seem at odds with this week’s theme of finding common ground and crafting bipartisan solutions, and while both Alex and Marc lamented the current dysfunction in Washington, they provided reason to be optimistic.


Thorn Run, in particular, is billed as “rabidly bipartisan” in that it works with issues on behalf of both parties while maintaining very clear, strict guidelines in how it chooses and retains clients. Though both Marc and Alex happen to belong to one political party, their firms’ cultures enable them to build effective relationships across the political spectrum. Throughout the week, the theme of personal relationships continually reemerged as key to building consensus and delivering positive results. Fittingly, Thorn Run’s business has grown at a rate far higher than partisan firms that work on behalf of a single party or issue, thus proving that collaboration and political effectiveness need not be mutually exclusive.