Managing Director, Federal Government Affairs
Paul Thornell serves as Managing Director, Federal Government Affairs in the Global Government Affairs office of Citigroup. In this role, he represents the company’s interests before Congress and the Administration, focusing on a range of policy issues related to capital markets, derivatives regulation, and consumer lending. Working with various trade associations in these duties, Mr. Thornell is past Chairman of the American Banker Association’s (ABA) Legislative Liaison Advocacy Council and serves as an appointed member on the ABA’s Government Relations Council.
Prior to joining Citigroup, he served as Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Field Leadership at United Way of America, the nation’s largest charity. In this position from 2002 to January 2007, Mr. Thornell developed and advocated on behalf of United Way’s public policy agenda before Congress and the Administration; led the organization’s relationship management work with the nearly 1,400 local United Ways; and oversaw United Way of America’s work in Disaster Preparedness and Response.
Prior to his joining United Way of America, Mr. Thornell was Managing Director for Public Affairs in Hill and Knowlton’s Washington office managing a variety of clients, for whom he provided strategic counsel, directed government relations and developed strategies on media relations and third party engagement.
Mr. Thornell served from 1998 to 2001 at the White House as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Al Gore. In that capacity, he was a senior liaison for Vice President Gore with Members of Congress, promoting the Clinton/Gore Administration’s policies before Congress and directing the Vice President’s activities and communication with U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives.
Before joining the Office of the Vice President at the White House, Mr. Thornell served from 1996 to 1998 on Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle’s leadership staff. In his position, he was the Senate Democratic Leadership’s chief liaison to education, children’s, social service, civil rights and religious organizations, as well as directing intergovernmental affairs for the Senate Democratic Leadership. From 1994 to 1996, Mr. Thornell was Senior Legislative Representative at the advocacy group People For the American Way. In this role, he represented the organization’s interests before Congress and the Executive Branch on various First Amendment, civil rights and public education issues.
Mr. Thornell was raised in the Washington, DC area and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has done extensive research on his family history, publishing an award-winning article on his great, great grandfather in the Journal of Negro History and delivering remarks at various public engagements on his research.
Mr. Thornell serves on the Board of United Way of the National Capital Area. He was also a board member of Generations United for 11 years; DC Habitat for Humanity for 10 years; and The Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI) for 8 years. Mr. Thornell resides in Washington, DC with his wife Emily, son Nolan, and daughter Lena.