John M. Simmons devises and executes strategies to advance client interests before Congress and the executive branch in the areas of defense, federal appropriations, homeland security, military base enhancement, space and related domestic policy issues.
Mr. Simmons leads the military base enhancement practice, which successfully defended all of the firm’s clients through the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure round. Mr. Simmons’ defense practice concentrates on research, development and procurement programs throughout the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, traditional military construction, military housing privatization initiatives and military base enhancement. His appropriations practice focuses on securing competitive and non-competitive federal grants for research, equipment and capital improvements. Mr. Simmons’ client base includes universities, small R&D firms, large companies targeting government procurement, state economic development entities and local communities.
Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Simmons served as appropriations associate and military legislative assistant to Rep. James T. Walsh (R-NY) from 1991 to 2001. Congressman Walsh is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies and former Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. Mr. Simmons was the primary adviser on appropriations matters relating to defense, foreign affairs, military construction, science, space and technology. In addition to handling appropriations matters, he supported Rep. Walsh in his capacity as chairman of the Friends of Ireland and worked on all aspects, from bill drafting to enactment, of Public Law 105-319, the Irish Peace Process Cultural Training Program Act of 1998, also known as the Walsh Visa.
Mr. Simmons received his B.S. in finance with a concentration in international relations from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He and his wife are natives of Buffalo, New York, and reside in Great Falls, Virginia, with their two children.