WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2024 __ SMI continues to expand its bipartisan team and is pleased to welcome as a director Celia Morté, a former Air Force cyber operations officer and national security adviser to Sen. John Kennedy (LA).

Morte has supported Kennedy’s work on the Senate Appropriations Committee and advised on foreign affairs and trade policy. She was previously military legislative assistant to Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND), a member of the Armed Services Committee and Space Force Caucus.

“Celia brings a breadth of knowledge and experience, both in uniform and as a civil servant, to help maximize our ability to deliver for clients and bolster national objectives for technology development, economic growth, and security,” said SMI CEO Bill McCann.

“I’m thrilled to be joining such an impressive team,” Celia said. “I look forward to assisting clients in successfully navigating the appropriations process and in accomplishing their federal objectives.”

Celia earned a BA in History from the University of Portland and an MA in Humanities from the American Military University. She was also a Space Policy Fellow at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.

SMI has also brought aboard three new policy analysts to support the firm’s work:

Ben McNutt interned for House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, where he supported key policy areas for SMI clients, including battery supply chains and the CHIPS Act. He graduated from American University with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG) and a B.A. in Political Science.

Laura “LB” Fullerton was an intern for the Korea Economic Institute of America and the U.S. Army’s Military Advisor Training Academy, where she supported policy research and drafted reports to support senior leaders. She holds a BA in International Studies from Auburn University and MA in Asian Studies from George Washington University.

Dylan Keating interned for the Signal Group, a political advisory group specializing in national security policy and the defense industry, and Direct Persuasion, a digital political strategy and marketing group. He earned BA degrees in Chinese and Political Science from Villanova University.

SMI has also promoted Senior Analyst Camryn Anderson, who has supported the team through two appropriations cycles and honed best practices with her experience and policy depth.

“2024 is going to be another busy year at SMI,” said McCann. “We expect to have a number of new folks join our team and have some exciting announcements coming in the next few weeks.”

Founded in 1993, SMI has been the premier choice in Washington for companies, universities, nonprofits, and industry associations for federal marketing and lobbying services focused on national security, defense, clean energy, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and research and development.