Meg Thompson, Co-Founder & Partner
Meg leverages more than 20 years of Capitol Hill experience in support of her clients, helping them advance and achieve their funding priorities. Prior to working as a consultant, Ms. Thompson was professional staff on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, where she had oversight for the Department of Justice. Previously, Ms. Thompson was staff to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, where she had primary responsibility for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Preparedness Directorate. Earlier, Ms. Thompson served on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and oversaw the budget for the Department of Labor. Ms. Thompson began her career on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, and Related Agencies.
In addition to her time on the Hill, Ms. Thompson was Director of Communications for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, managing congressional and corporate communications, and interfacing with the chief communications officers of corporate sponsors including ExxonMobil and Shell Oil. Ms. Thompson was previously a lobbyist for health and medical research clients, including the National Coalition for Cancer Research and the Schering-Plough Corporation. Ms. Thompson represented the Campaign for Medical Research, which was dedicated to the successful doubling of the NIH budget between 1997-2002.
A native Washingtonian, Ms. Thompson is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. Ms. Thompson lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband, three daughters, and two Brittany Spaniels.
Joel Widder, Co-Founder & Partner
Joel has been a government relations consultant to universities and scientific institutions since 2002. In that time, Mr. Widder has helped a diverse set of organizations achieve their funding and public policy priorities. Earlier in his career, Mr. Widder was employed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) where he served as the Acting Director and Deputy Director for the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, with responsibilities for the development and execution of the NSF’s strategy and participation in the congressional budget process (annual budget resolution, authorization legislation, and annual appropriations legislation) and the legislative oversight process. Before leaving NSF, Mr. Widder also served for two years on detail to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s former Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies where he assisted the Subcommittee on issues related to research and education, space, and the environment.
Mr. Widder was an original member of NOAA’s Environmental Information Services Working Group, which reports to the NOAA Science Advisory Board. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board on Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate within the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities; and has recently completed his term on the American Meteorological Society’s Weather & Climate Enterprise Commission’s Steering Committee.
Mr. Widder is originally from New York and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and pursued graduate studies at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Mr. Widder lives with his wife in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Mark Marin, Partner
Mark joined FSP in October, 2018, bringing his considerable experience and expertise to work for our clients. Mr. Marin most recently served as Chief of Staff for the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The committee has general jurisdiction over all non-defense federal scientific research and development, and direct oversight for all or large parts of NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, NIST, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation.
From 2008-2014, Mr. Marin was deputy staff director for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has jurisdiction over “any matter at any time.” He was responsible for managing the committee’s oversight and investigative activities. Prior to that, Mr. Marin worked for 10 years at a D.C.-based government relations firm managing a range of issues on behalf of research universities, federal laboratory managers, and non-profit organizations. His first job in Washington was with the American Society for Engineering Education, providing guidance and reports to ASEE members on federal policy issues.
Mr. Marin is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Dr. Nancy Watt Marin, their three children, and a dog named Ollie.