Smith-Free Group

Trusted. Effective. Experienced.

Bipartisan from Day One.

Who We Are

About / Our Team

With roots going back 40 years, the Smith-Free Group is the most experienced bipartisan government affairs firm in Washington, D.C. today.

Our Team

We are bipartisan strategists from the highest levels of Capitol Hill, executive agencies, and the White House.

Jon Deuser

President & CEO

James Free


Robert Hickmott

Managing Partner

Sarah Merchak

Senior Vice President

W. Timothy Locke

Senior Vice President

Trevor Kolego

Senior Vice President

Michael Gaffin

Senior Vice President

John Christie

Senior Vice President

Kristin Winters

Manager of Office Operations, Associate

Jean Lee

Senior Associate, Human Resources

Wilson Montjoy


John Gibbons


What We Do

Expertise / Capabilities / Practice Areas / Giving Back

Government affairs should not be one-size-fits all. Positioned at the intersection of politics, policy, and procedure, the Smith-Free Group’s adaptive and diverse expertise provides a unique combination of active engagement services and access to unparalleled relationships.


The Smith-Free Group is the government affairs firm Fortune 500 companies trust to tackle complex public affairs issues and rely on for calculated counsel and winning strategies.


Congressional Affairs & Oversight Expertise

Regulatory Agencies & Executive Branch Affairs

Strategic Advisory Services

Advocacy & Engagement

Practice Areas

Financial Services


Intellectual Property

Energy & Environment





Health Care

Giving Back

The Smith-Free Group is committed to giving back to the Washington, D.C. community, including:

News & Insights

The Big Casino – Debt Ceiling End Game

“We’re in the end game now.”  –Dr. Strange, “Avengers: Endgame” We wrote a few weeks ago how the discussions around the debt ceiling had moved, to borrow a metaphor from the game of Chess, into the “middle game”, an interim …

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The Big Casino – Debt Ceiling Analysis Update

Following Treasury Secretary Yellen’s recent letter pegging a potential “X Date” for Treasury hitting the debt ceiling, there has been renewed vigor in public and private discussions surrounding the matter.  The White House meeting tomorrow with the president and the …

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