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.

Pete Duffy
Pete Duffy
Director of Legislation

Retired Col. Peter J. Duffy was named Director of Legislation for NGAUS in June 2013, having previously served as Acting Director and Deputy Director of Legislation and Joint Programs since Jan. 2007. He administers NGAUS legislative staff operations. He also manages all NGAUS strategic lobbying efforts for National Guard.

Duffy is a retired Army JAG Colonel who served as the Judge Advocate for the New Hampshire Army National Guard until his retirement in 2005. He retired from his law practice in Manchester, N.H., to join NGAUS after 30 years as a civil litigator. He is admitted to the bar in California and New Hampshire.

Duffy spent his active duty years in the Federal Republic of Germany as a defense counsel, legal assistance officer and counsel to the tri-service Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University; a J.D. from the University of California at Davis; and an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Mike Waite
Deputy Director of Legislation

Retired Missouri National Guard Col. Mike Waite joined NGAUS as Deputy Legislative Director in April 2014.  He assists the Director of Legislation in managing 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.
Mary Catherine Ott
Legislative Affairs Manager, Air Programs and Cyber Security

Mary Catherine Ott serves as Legislative Affairs Manager at NGAUS with responsibilities for overseeing strategy and execution of legislative priorities related to Air National Guard funding and equipment as well as cyber security policy. In her role, she develops targeted lobbying and communications strategies, engages members of Congress and their staff, analyzes legislation with an emphasis on the Defense Authorization bills, coordinates grassroots legislative action campaigns, and identifies issues and opportunities in the legislative environment.

Prior to joining NGAUS, Ott worked for Missouri Senators Kit Bond and Roy Blunt assisting in a variety of issues, with a focus on defense, foreign affairs, veterans, budget, homeland security and telecommunications. She is an active member in the National Defense Industry Association, Women in Defense, Association for Enterprise Information and the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association.

Ott holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from Providence College in Providence, RI.

Grace A. Washbourne
Legislative Affairs Manager-Joint Programs

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 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 intregal 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.