Nine months after leaving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) communications war room, former senior communications adviser Jim Manley has decided to join Quinn Gillespie & Associates.
Manley, who starts Thursday, will be senior director at QGA Communications and will be working closely with John Feehery, onetime aide to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and current director of QGA Government Affairs.
“Manley and I have sparred many times in the political arena and have had our fair share of beers after the work day is done,” Feehery said in an email. “He is smart, highly respected on the Hill and he has unmatched experience. He will fit well with the folks at QGA and I am really glad he is joining us.”
Manley, who described co-founder Jack Quinn as a “visionary,” said working with Feehery and the rest of his team “was too good to pass up. When I told a friend of mine recently that I was going to work with John, she said that, ‘You two give bipartisanship a good name.’ Man, that sounded good.”
Manley will work with Feehery to help build the firm’s public-affairs practice and provide advice to the lobbying staff, as well.
Manley said he purposely took his time before settling down into a private sector job after 21 years on the Hill working for Reid, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and former Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine). Manley spent six years with Reid and three with Mitchell, but the bulk of his career was with Kennedy.
“When I left, I was at the top of my game,” Manley said. “So, against my better judgment and probably over the objection of both Sen. Reid and my mom, I decided that after 21 years in the Senate and after having survived more 24/7 news cycles than [I] thought humanly possible, I was going to take some time off before beginning Act 2 of my professional career.”
Manley has spent the better part of the year traveling — he celebrated his 50th birthday in February in Europe — and, apparently, sitting at coffee shops on the Hill tweeting.
“In my years on the Hill, I never had the kind of job that I could spend time off campus during the day, so I am amazed at how much business got done at the Starbucks or whatever on 12th and G [streets Northwest],” Manley said. “When the boredom set in, for better or worse, I took to Twitter, where I could be … a bit more free than when I operated under the customs and traditions of the Senate.”