Washington, D.C., April 12, 2021 — Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies is pleased to announce C. Towner French, former deputy staff director of the House of Representatives Committee on Rules and chief of staff for Congressmen Pete Sessions (Texas) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.), will be joining the Washington, D.C., office as a principal. He will draw upon his extensive network and knowledge of government to assist clients with federal, state, and local legislation involving health care, financial services, tax, and transportation. French’s deep understanding of congressional process will give clients a significant advantage in addressing and understanding policy issues.
French brings almost two decades of federal legislative and political experience to the practice. He spent over a decade on the House Committee on Rules, ultimately rising to the role of deputy staff director. He was the primary contact for members of Congress and their staffs on committee matters and managed all aspects of hearing procedures and the 113th Congress transition. French has experience representing advocacy coalitions and has helped craft complex regulatory responses for clients, including comment letters to CMS and Treasury. He also has prior experience with representation under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
“Our clients will reap the benefits of having someone who has strong working relationships with Capitol Hill and is so well versed in understanding the nuances of policy advocacy in Washington,” said Howard Schweitzer, CEO of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies. “Towner will be a fantastic and versatile addition to our federal team.”
As chief parliamentarian of the House Committee on Homeland Security, French was lauded for his ability to broadly advise on committee member priorities and scheduling issues while building non-partisan coalitions, as well as his leadership role while serving as the liaison to the House leadership, where he disseminated weekly policy themes and legislative positions.
While serving as the chief of staff for Congressman Sessions, and in his previous role as chief of staff for Congressman Diaz-Balart, he managed all aspects of the congressmen’s staffs, including policy, political, administrative, press, and district functions. He organized and ran Congressman Sessions campaign for the chair of the House Rules Committee and served as the liaison to the National Republican Congressional Committee. While serving under Congressman Diaz-Balart, he served as the liaison to the Republican Whip Team, and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute. He was praised for his leadership and relationship building in his role as the lead staff person to the chairman of the bipartisan Florida congressional delegation.
“It is very exciting to join this forward-thinking, bipartisan lobbying team that is affiliated with one of the 100 largest law firms in the world. Having the ability to build upon and fully utilize my contacts to benefit the firm’s federal, state and local clients, was an extremely compelling reason to join this firm,” French said.
The addition of French to the Public Strategies group continues the recent growth of Cozen O'Connor’s Washington, D.C., office. New hires to the Washington, D.C., office include longtime Democratic congressional aide Tristan R Breaux, veteran litigators Kurt E. Lindquist, Jeffrey T. Gendzwill, and Keith D. Fredlake to the firm’s Intellectual Property practice, and John D. Shire to the Health Care practice. The firm has been focused on expanding the Washington, D.C., office in recent years, growing from 12 attorneys in 2010 to more than 80 attorneys and government relations professionals today.
French earned his B.A. in political science and a business certificate of markets and management from Duke University.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 800 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 32 offices across two continents.