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Mary Monica Palmer

Joining Gothams in February of 2023, Mary Monica brings nearly a decade of blended national security, government affairs, and strategic communications experience from the executive and legislative branches and the defense technology sector.  

Prior to Gothams, she was the Head of Government Affairs for Epirus, Inc., a unicorn defense technology startup developing advanced directed energy systems such as counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) capabilities. There, she was responsible for building the company’s government affairs operations, including expanding its geographic and strategic footprint in Washington and nationwide, and advancing federal C-UAS policies and regulations.

Mary Monica previously served at the Pentagon as a Policy Advisor on Middle East Affairs in the Office of Secretary of Defense for Policy, where she managed U.S. bilateral defense relationships with U.S. partners and allies, as well in the Homeland Defense and Global Security division, where she advanced policies on defense continuity and mission assurance. Prior to the Pentagon, she served at the State Department in the Office of Policy Planning as a Speechwriter for the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of State, as well as the Special Assistant to the Director of Policy Planning.

Prior to the interagency, Mary Monica served in the U.S. Senate, working for former U.S. Senator Richard Burr both on Capitol Hill and in the state of North Carolina, and worked for RealClear Politics standing up the RealClear Defense platform. A native Washingtonian, she holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University in Politics and International Affairs and Middle East Studies and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute.