Issues & Advocacy

Meet the Lobbyists

The National Guard Association of the United States is the voice of the National Guard on Capitol Hill to advocate for the highest level of readiness, modernization, and quality of life for our National Guard family. The NGAUS legislative staff carries out that mission by helping transform resolutions into reality.

Mike Waite
Legislative Director

Areas of Expertise: Leverage Cost Effective Guard | Representation in Defense Reviews | Personnel & Benefits | MILCON

Retired Missouri National Guard Col. Mike Waite was named Legislative Director in May 2015. He joined NGAUS as Deputy Legislative Director in April 2014.  He administers NGAUS legislative staff operations in lobbying, coalition building and outreach. In addition, he advises the NGAUS leadership on Congressional strategies, including a broad range of policy and program areas.

Waite served 28 years of military service beginning with the Missouri Army National Guard as an enlisted field artillery repairman. Later, he served as a Regular Army Armor/Cavalry Lieutenant overseas and 10 years as a drilling Guardsman, and retired as a Military Police colonel. His assignments have included platoon leader, company commander, ROTC instructor, senior Army staff officer at the Pentagon, with his final assignment as the Senior Legislative Advisor to the Director of the Army National Guard at the National Guard Bureau. 
Waite has extensive experience on Capitol Hill as well.  He served as Military Legislative Assistant to Rep. G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery in the U.S. House of Representatives.  For the past sixteen years, before joining NGAUS, he has worked as a registered lobbyist working with the nationally known lobbying firm, The Livingston Group, in Washington, D.C., during which time he established his own government relations and business development firm.   
Waite holds a B.S. degree in Agri-Business from Missouri State University and is an honors graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Grace A. Washbourne
Legislative Affairs Manager, Joint Programs

Areas of Expertise: Domestic Operations | Cyber | State Partnership Program | Personnel & Benefits

Grace A. Washbourne serves as the Legislative Affairs Manager at NGAUS with responsibility for developing strategic priorities relating to Army National Guard and Air National Guard joint programs including all homeland security, cyber and domestic operations, and medical and personnel issues. In her role, she creates and advances National Guard legislative initiatives, drafts and analyzes legislation, coordinates grassroots legislative action campaigns, and identifies issues and opportunities to promote National Guard readiness. Prior to joining NGAUS, Washbourne worked on Capitol Hill for 25 years, most recently as a Senior Professional Staff Member with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, working national defense and homeland security oversight. Washbourne was integral in the investigation of the treatment of Guard and Reserve personnel at Walter Reed and is one of the authors of the National Guard Empowerment Act. Washbourne has also worked as an advisor to the Adjutants General Association of the United States and a contractor for the National Guard Bureau. Washbourne holds degrees from Susquehanna University and the George Washington University.

Andrea Peterson
Legislative Affairs Manager, Army Programs

Areas of Expertise: Leverage Cost Effective Guard | Preserve an Operational Force | Equipment & Modernization | MILCON

Andrea Peterson serves as Legislative Affairs Manager for Army National Guard programs and military construction issues, and is the association's main liaison with the anticipated commission to study the structure of the Total Army. She joined NGAUS as a legislative affairs assistant in September 2014.

Prior to joining NGAUS, Peterson worked for more than two years as a research assistant for Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., specializing in national security and veterans' affairs. She has also worked as a research assistant in the Defense Department's Military Community and Family Policy State Liaison Office. Additionally, she has served as a Fulbright Fellow in Germany and has three years of experience in the private sector with a consulting firm that specializes in data processing for complex litigation and investigations.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and German from the University of South Dakota, as well as a master’s degree in Technology and International Affairs from George Washington University.

Matt Pincus
Legislative Affairs Manager, Air Programs

Areas of Expertise: Leverage Cost Effective Guard | Preserve an Operational Force | Equipment & Modernization | Representation in Defense Reviews

Matt Pincus serves as the Legislative Affairs Manager for Air National Guard programs. In this capacity, he creates and advances legislative initiatives and priorities for the Air National Guard in Congress and with NGAUS’ industry partners.

Prior to joining NGAUS, Pincus worked as a legislative assistant for Rep. John Carney, D-Del., focusing on issues related to the National Guard, as well as those concerning foreign affairs, defense, intelligence, veterans and homeland security. While in Carney’s office, he drafted numerous legislation and amendments to appropriations and authorization bills, including furthering efforts to modernize C-130 aircraft.  

PIncus holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Government from Skidmore College and a Master’s Degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.