Katy French Talento is the Legislative Director for Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). She recently returned to the Senate from the private sector, where she was the Vice President for Corporate Affairs at MosquitoZone International, a firm providing malaria protection to the workforce of energy companies in Africa and Asia. Prior to her private sector stint, Katy was the Republican Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In this capacity, she helped manage for Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) the functioning of the committee generally and specifically oversaw the Governmental Affairs team that investigated waste, fraud, and ineffectiveness in government programs at every federal agency. She also led the successful effort to win Senate passage for comprehensive postal reform. Prior to this position, Katy took a hiatus from the Senate and served as the Director of Speechwriting at the Republican National Committee during the successful 2010 election cycle.
Katy first came to Capitol Hill in 2001, starting first as a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the Committee which sets the Senate public health legislative agenda. She advised Chairman/Ranking Member Judd Gregg, on public health issues, including biodefense, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other tropical diseases, cancer, women’s health and public health infrastructure in global and domestic settings, and conducted oversight of NIH, CDC, and other agencies of HHS as well as USAID and State department health programs. She then joined Senator Brownback’s staff as a Senior Policy Advisor, advising the Senator on global and domestic health, foreign assistance, disability and labor issues. In 2005, she helped start up newly elected Senator Coburn’s oversight platform, serving for as the Staff Director for his Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management. In that capacity, she shepherded into enactment Dr. Coburn’s global health priorities on HIV/AIDS (including PEPFAR reauthorization), World Bank health programs, WHO and Global Fund reform, USAID malaria program reform.
Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Katy evaluated Federal substance abuse treatment and prevention programs for a private consulting firm, Caliber Associates. In addition, she served for several years as the Program Evaluator and Associate Director of Contracts and Grants for Whitman-Walker Clinic, Inc, the largest, community-based HIV/AIDS service and prevention organization in the U.S. Prior to her work at Whitman-Walker, Katy was a Research Instructor on the faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine. Her research interests focused on pulmonary disease and the environment, HIV prevention among injection drug users in the U.S. and Russia, dracunculiasis eradication in south Sudan, federal hepatitis C policy, and the association between HIV viral load and metabolic activity.
Katy received a Master of Science degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology in 1998 from Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, MA, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1994 from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA.