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Emily Heatwole Keeney

Government Affairs Advisor

My clients value my ability to bring people together and build trust in order to move an idea or project forward. I pride myself on my ability to find common ground with people on any side of an issue and overcome challenges.

Emily 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, Emily is a perceptive and insightful advocate for her clients. Her strong relationships within state agencies and the legislature allow her to approach client advocacy from numerous angles.

Emily is highly experienced in processes involving state appropriations and legislation. She understands how to effectively advocate for her clients throughout every stage of an engagement.

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, Emily 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.

Emily 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, Emily 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.

Disclaimer: Emily Keeney is not licensed to practice law.

Education

  • University of South Carolina, Master of Social Work, 2007
  • College of Charleston, B.S., 2003, Sociology

Acknowledgements

  • College of Charleston Undergraduate Research Grant, Spring 2003
  • Distinguished Honors, College of Charleston, Spring 2003

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Junior League of Columbia, 2012 to date; Holiday Market Treasurer-Elect, 2019–2020; Shift Sign Up Co-Chair, 2018–2019; Membership Recognition and Satisfaction Committee Member, 2015–2017; Green League Committee Chair, 2013–2015
  • Historic Columbia Foundation, Palladium Society Board Member 2014–2015
  • Girls on the Run of Columbia, Board of Directors, 2010–2014; Secretary, 2013