George S. McElwee

George S. McElwee

“We support a diverse set of clients. Each day is different and it’s up to us to identify opportunities for client success.”

George S. McElwee

Co-Founder and Managing Partner

George S. McElwee is a founding member and managing partner of Commonwealth Strategic Partners (CSP). He brings more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, including work in the federal government and as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. For his work in 2021, George was recognized as one of The Hill's Top Lobbyists, and CSP was recognized as a Top Performing Lobbying Firm by Bloomberg Government.

George provides CSP’s clients with government relations support and guidance on a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues. This role includes serving as the point person in Washington, D.C. for clients such as Churchill Mortgage Corporation, Invest in the USA, Lendmark Financial Services, National Technology Security Coalition, and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.

His recent legislative successes include the CISA Cybersecurity Advisory Committee and the Homes for Every Local Protector, Educator, and Responder (HELPER) Act.

In the 116th Congress, George worked to introduce the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee Authorization Act. That legislation established a new committee of industry experts to advise the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. George was able to secure language to establish the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee in the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act, which was enacted in January 2021.

In the 117th Congress, George worked to introduce the HELPER Act. The bill would establish within the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) a new home loan option for first responders and teachers. A HELPER Act loan would require no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance payments, greatly improving home affordability for those groups. To support the bill, George conducted an aggressive outreach strategy which earned the cosponsorship of over 100 bipartisan members of both chambers of Congress and the endorsements of nearly 300 national, state, and local organizations, unions, and elected officials, including major national groups like the National Education Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Throughout his career, George’s knowledge of politics and his instinctive ability to connect people of varying backgrounds has led him to consistent success and respect among his colleagues. For example, while working as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Charles W. Dent (R-PA), George was elected by his peers to serve as President of the House Chiefs of Staff Association, a position he held for three years, making him the longest-serving president in the association’s 36-year history.

After working for Mr. Dent, George served as the Organization for International Investment’s Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs, as the association’s chief lobbyist. He also spent five years as Director, Federal Government Affairs for the American Financial Services Association and worked on the staff of U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA).

George is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 2022, Lt. Cmdr. McElwee served on active duty as Deputy Assistant Chief of Information, Community Outreach. Lt. Cmdr. McElwee’s leadership was critical to support the U.S. Navy Chief of Information’s mission to connect Americans to their Navy. He regularly briefed the Flag and senior officers and provided strategic counsel and support to high visibility events throughout the United States.

Lt. Cmdr. McElwee is currently assigned to the Navy Public Affairs Support Element East and serves as Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC). As AOIC, Lt. Cmdr. McElwee oversees the administration and operation of a 30+ member unit of officers and enlisted personnel. His previous assignments include Flag Assistant to the U.S. Navy Vice Chief of Information, Navy Office of Community Outreach, U.S. Navy Chief of Information, and U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Nominated by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate, George is a proud member of the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees.

George holds an M.A. in Strategic Security Studies from National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair, a graduate certificate in PACs and Political Management from George Washington University, and B.A. in Political Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. George is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base and the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade.

George lives in Fairfax, VA, with his wife Joy, their two daughters, and two goldendoodles.

Top Accomplishments

  • Serving as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Charles W. Dent (PA-15) from 2005-2013
  • Introduction of the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee Authorization Act in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives
  • Nomination and confirmation to serve as a member of the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees

Career Highlights

  • Managing Partner, Commonwealth Strategic Partners
  • Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs, Organization for International Investment (OFII)
  • Chief of Staff, Congressman Charles W. Dent (R-PA)
  • Director, Federal Government Affairs, American Financial Services Association (AFSA)
  • Staff Assistant, Office of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

Military Career Highlights

  • U.S. Navy Reserve, O-4, Lieutenant Commander, Public Affairs Officer
  • Flag Assistant, Vice Chief of Information
  • Reserve Organization of America (ROA), Executive Committee (2013-2017)
  • ROA – Department of the National Capital Region, President (2015-2017)

Awards and Affiliations

  • Shippensburg University Council of Trustees, Trustee (2020-present)
  • Navy Reserve Capitol Hill Wardroom, President
  • Pennsylvania Society of Washington, D.C., Member
  • House Chiefs of Staff Association, President (2009-2011)
  • Senior Stennis Fellow, 112th Congress
  • Shippensburg University Alumni Association, Board Member (2011-2014)

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