Comprehensive Federal Relations Advocacy Tailored to Your Needs 


Strategic Planning, Advocacy, and Thought Leadership


20-Year Track Record of Achievement


With Unique Experience in Higher Education, Research Funding, Major Research Facilities, and Associations






We have extensive experience working to support the research budgets and projects at NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD, NASA, NIST, NOAA and USDA.  



We have extensive knowledge and understanding of the Department of Defense and related agencies, including staff who have had direct oversight responsibility for several DOD projects and programs.  



We have a deep understanding of how to manage major research facilities and projects through both federal agencies and Congress.  Past successes include a bioenergy research institute, a composite materials research center, and a $700 million Department of Energy nuclear physics user facility.



The basis of the relationship between universities and the federal government is governed by the HEA.  Our staff has participated in the last three HEA revisions, and we have a full understanding of both the process and the policy implications of the HEA reauthorization.



Our staff has significant experience working on energy efficiency, bioenergy, and solar energy projects, particularly with the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).



Our Team has 25 years of experience and expertise in helping academic institutions and non-profit associations work through significant strategic planning processes.  Our process includes detailed pre-session web-based questionnaires, key stakeholder interviews, facilitating discussions on complex strategic issues and comprehensive final plan creation.  



The Burnham Group is a Washington, D.C. based advocacy and strategic consulting firm with Michigan roots.  Our mission is to provide clients with the highest level of service, expert advice, and most importantly, the accomplishment of goals, in these challenging political times.  Built on more than 20 years' experience working successfully on both sides of the political aisle, we have the knowledge, foresight, and bandwidth to connect our clients to both Congress and Federal Agencies.


In today’s volatile political environment, it is imperative you have representation in Washington that understands you, your institution, and how to successfully navigate a path forward.  We take the time to get to know you, your strategic strengths, and your pressing concerns rather than rely on cookie-cutter solutions.  Moreover, our deep understanding of academic institutions, associations and advocacy groups gives our firm unique insight into how your institutional needs differ from other stakeholders.  



The Burnham Group

Tel: 703-408-5459

Mark Burnham founded The Burnham Group after more than 20 years advocating for universities, large research facilities, and associations in Washington.  After graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Political Science, he began his career on Capitol Hill on the staff of a now senior Member of Congress. There, he worked his way up to serving as the Congresswoman’s liaison to the House Appropriations Committee with a focus on appropriations for NASA, the National Science Foundation, NIST and the Veterans’ Administration.  His work included establishing a mental health research lab at the VA, increasing funding for NASA’s Earth Science Missions, and developing the legislative foundation for the World War II Memorial.  Following law school at Boston College, he worked on several major product liability cases for the law firm JonesDay.  

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David Cherington has more than 25 years of experience working on and off Capitol Hill, where he developed a breadth of knowledge focused on impacting federal budgets and policy. Cherington has worked on Capitol Hill for a Congressman on the Appropriations Committee, on the Professional Staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and for an Ivy League University. Off the Hill, Cherington worked on behalf of science and technology giant Battelle, where he worked to increase federal funding for key science and technology programs, changed laws to drive competitive advantage for his employer, and raised Battelle's profile on Capitol Hill, at the White House and across the key agencies.... 

(202) 412-2809
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Deb Muchmore
Tel: 517.643.7261

Deb Muchmore is president and CEO of Deb Muchmore Consulting, a Midwest-based public affairs, communications and strategies practice. She is a respected go-to expert for organizations that seek help developing effective and comprehensive solutions to difficult situations.

She has counseled dozens of organizations with public, crisis and complicated regulatory challenges to achieve crucial business objectives and respond appropriately to public interests. Her portfolio of work throughout Michigan and the Midwest spans diverse industries, issues and communities.  For her work, Deb has been ranked among Michigan’s top five most effective public relations professionals in Michigan’s annual MIRS/EPIC-MRA Michigan Capitol Insiders survey.


Jean S. Frankel is founder and principal of Ideas for Action, LLC. She is an internationally known and

respected management consultant, educator, facilitator, and executive coach, and is a trusted thought partner to senior academic and administrative leaders in colleges and universities, as well as CEOs and executive directors of professional and philanthropic nonprofit organizations. 


As an experienced consultant, Frankel also helps organizations find solutions to critical issues and challenges. She is a proven strategist, with group process and analytical skills enhancing her ability to develop collaborative solutions with clients in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, and organizational structure, process and culture change....

Lisa Arafune is at the intersection of industry, government, and academia, she is an organizational innovator and industry thought leader dedicated to transforming STEM-sector capacity, visibility, and impact. As a consultant and collaborator, Lisa empowers scientists and technologists to change the world by organizing and advocating their mission in a way that maximizes resonance within and outside the STEM community.

Prior to consulting, Lisa spent more than 10 years as Director of Federal Relations for Purdue University, launching and leading the University’s engagement across Washington, DC. A natural relationship builder, Lisa developed new bonds for the University in Federal research agencies, on Capitol Hill, and non-profit organizations & advocacy groups.  She advanced the University’s organizational objectives in visibility and funding – with a highlight of securing an annual average of $18M for congressionally directed projects. She also previously served on Capitol Hill as Chief Clerk for the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform.





In Washington:

1155 F Street, NW

Suite 1050

Washington, D.C. 20004

In Michigan:

9864 East Grand River

Suite 110-294

Brighton, MI 48116

Tel:  (202) 559-8559


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