“Peter is one of the top education and workforce policy professionals in the country, with strong bipartisan relationships and a record of working on both sides of the aisle, having spent more than a decade advising leaders like former Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), current HELP Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos,” said H. Stewart “Stu” Van Scoyoc, President and CEO of VSA. “We are thrilled that Peter decided to join VSA. We know that Peter will be a welcome resource for our existing clients, but also that he will be sought after by a host of new clients who want to better understand the players and the politics surrounding these issues.”
Peter has held several roles at the Senate HELP Committee including General Counsel, Education Policy Director, and Acting Labor Policy Director. He has been involved in several major pieces of legislation including, most recently, negotiating provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Peter was integral in drafting, negotiating, and ultimately advancing legislation such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In addition to education and workforce issues, he's worked on several notable health and human services bills, including the Lower Health Care Costs Act and Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act reauthorization. Peter also managed the HELP Committee’s work on “name, image, and likeness” compensation issues for collegiate athletes and COVID-related liability protections for employers and businesses. Before serving on the HELP Committee, Peter was Senator Alexander’s counsel for all issues related to education, labor, workforce, and pensions policy and appropriations.
In 2017, Peter was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education. In that role, he was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Education on the Department’s legislative activities and relations with the U.S. Congress. During his time at the Department, Peter helped secure the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, as well as built support around the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Peter was also involved with the development and rollout of the President’s fiscal year 2019 and 2020 budget requests.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Van Scoyoc Associates – a firm with a great bipartisan reputation and an incredibly talented group of public policy professionals,” said Oppenheim. “I look forward to helping organizations who care about education, workforce, and healthcare issues navigate an increasingly complex Washington landscape and achieve desired outcomes.”
Peter received his Bachelor Arts from Colby College, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their two sons.