Class of '88
Drew Willison recently served as Chief of Staff for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Mr. Willison served as the Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms from 2007 until the end of 2010 and from March 2013 until his appointment as the Sergeant at Arms.
Mr. Willison has led a distinguished career in the U.S. Senate that elevated him to the highest levels of decision-making. His work through the years has greatly enhanced the safety and security of the U.S. Senate, staff, and visitors.
Mr. Willison was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and was raised in Ohio, Missouri, Alabama, Connecticut, and Virginia. He earned a B.A. with Honors in government from the College of William and Mary in 1988. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Ohio State University, 1990; and a law degree from the George Washington University, 2001.
Mr. Willison started his government career as a presidential management intern at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and later worked for the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1997, he joined the staff of U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to assist the Senator’s work on the Environment and Public Works Committee, including the $200 billion 1998 highway bill.
In 1999, Mr. Willison was selected as the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Staff Director. In this capacity, he represented Senator Reid and the other Senate Democratic Member interests on the $35 billion per year bill that funds the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and other smaller agencies.
As Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms, Mr. Willison served as the chief operating officer of the Senate’s largest organization, with over 850 employees and an annual budget exceeding $200 million. Mr. Willison directly supervised senior managers responsible for all operations, including the chief information officer, the chief financial officer, security and emergency preparedness, police operations, general counsel, human resources, the media and public galleries, the Employee Assistance Program, the Protocol Office, the Doorkeepers, the Page Program, printing, the photo studio, the Senate Post Office, parking, and education and training.
For 2½ years between his two terms as Deputy Sergeant at Arms, Mr. Willison served as the Vice President of Public Policy and External Relations for Battelle. Battelle is a 20,000‑employee 501(c)(3) company based in Columbus, Ohio, that operates national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy, and other technology-based ventures in homeland security and national defense, health and life sciences, and energy.
Current Term: Class of 2020