Thomas C. McDaniels is an accomplished government relations advisor and former federal Senior Executive Service official with more than 20 years of public policy experience, including a decade of service on Capitol Hill. His professional experience has focused on homeland security, transportation and health care issues, as well as legislative development and appropriations. Prior to joining the RELI Group as their Chief of Government Relations, Thomas was the Director of Federal Relations for Advocate Aurora Health, the largest integrated health care delivery system in Illinois and Wisconsin, operating 27 acute care hospitals and more than 500 sites of care. At Advocate Aurora, Thomas specifically worked with a portfolio of issues that included post-acute, hospital at home, health equity, health workforce, and maternal and child health issues.
Prior to joining Advocate Aurora, Thomas served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from 2012 to 2017. At TSA, he advised the Administrator and other members of TSA’s senior leadership on matters related to public and legislative affairs, aviation and transportation security policy, strategic planning, process improvement and organizational management. Prior to joining TSA, Thomas spent more than ten years as staff in the United States House of Representatives, including positions as Chief of Staff for Miami Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and Staff Director for the Transportation Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security.
Previously, Thomas was an external affairs coordinator for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, where he organized federal and state legislative and policy advocacy efforts for Miami International Airport and five general aviation airports. Earlier in his career, Thomas was a staff member of the White House Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses and also Staff Director of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s staff during the drafting and enactment of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which authorized the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, spanning ten U.S. Congresses and four Presidential administrations.
Thomas received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from the University of Miami. He is a surface warfare qualified U.S. Navy veteran and recipient of the Naval Achievement Medal, with tours in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Pacific.