The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) named Chris Connelly, a veteran of Congress, the White House and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, senior director of government relations. Connelly will manage ASME’s U.S. government relations team and help develop and advocate for its public policy priorities. 

Before joining ASME, Connelly served as chief of staff for three members of Congress: Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.). He also served as director of communications at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the George W. Bush administration, and as senior director of communications and research at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center. 

“Chris Connelly brings a wealth of Washington knowledge and experience to his new role as an advocate of America’s mechanical engineers,” said John Hasselmann, managing director of global public affairs at ASME. “He will be a great asset in our ongoing efforts to educate policymakers on key issues including clean energy, research and development, intelligent manufacturing, bioengineering, workforce development, and international standards.”

ASME Chief Strategy Officer Michael Johnson added: “ASME is constantly striving to innovate and serve our members better, and Chris Connelly is another example of how we’re bringing the best talent to bear in that effort.”

“Innovation is the key ingredient in solving our national and global challenges, and I am thrilled to join ASME and help them empower the engineering community to do what they do best: solve problems,” said Connelly. “It is an honor to join an organization that has been a leader on the cutting edge of progress, and I look forward to building on this legacy.” 

As a senior executive with demonstrated success at the highest levels of Capitol Hill, the executive branch, and the private sector, Connelly brings a unique blend of experience to this role. While Connelly was their chief of staff, Reps. Hartzler, Rigell and Davis all served on the House Armed Services Committee; Rigell also served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and Davis served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Connelly led the trade association’s intellectual property (IP) public relations campaign, highlighting the importance of innovation and IP protection to the global economy. As the director of communications at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Connelly managed the department’s advocacy efforts on issues including renewable energy, trade, and reauthorization of the farm bill.

Connelly earned a Ph.D. in communication and a master's degree in public policy from Regent University in Virginia., a master's degree in national security from the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island, and a bachelor's degree in government from Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.