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Adams and Reese is pleased to announce lobbyist Emily Heatwole Keeney has joined the firm’s Government Relations practice and Columbia, S.C. office as a Government Affairs Advisor.

Keeney’s government relations representation focuses primarily on clients in South Carolina. With more than a decade’s worth of experience in South Carolina’s state government, Keeney’s strong relationships within state agencies and the legislature allow her to approach client advocacy from numerous angles.

Her prior experience also includes working as a campaign field coordinator, bridging local efforts with volunteers and national political campaigns and outside agencies and groups to foster awareness of issues and recruit volunteers.

Prior to joining Adams and Reese, Keeney served as the Director of Government Affairs for the South Carolina Department of Education. In this role, she served as the liaison between the agency and South Carolina’s General Assembly, the Governor, the Congressional Delegation, other state agencies and stakeholder groups. Additionally, during the legislative session she provided public testimony during hearings, coordinated agency policy development and annually facilitated the agency budget request through the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly.

Keeney also spent seven years within the South Carolina House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, serving as a budget analyst with involvement in the Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee and the Public Education and Special Schools Subcommittee. Her work included coordinating the passage of $2 billion in state appropriations through the budget process and coordinating communication between the General Assembly, the state’s school districts and the South Carolina Department of Education, as well as a variety of legislation affecting K-12 education, property tax, and sales and use tax.

In addition to her work in the political sphere, Keeney served as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Social Work, where she led instruction in policy development, persuasive arguments and navigating the legislative process.

Keeney received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina in 2007 and her B.S. in Sociology from the College of Charleston in 2003. She is not licensed to practice law.