Helen Tolar is an attorney and Capitol Hill veteran with more than 12 years of experience serving high-profile Senators and Representatives. In her time on the Hill, she achieved numerous policy solutions and political wins by working with colleagues across the political aisle and across the Capitol dome.
As Chief of Staff to Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Helen served as his chief advisor during his chairmanship of multiple subcommittees of the Senate Committees on Appropriations, Agriculture, and Environment and Public Works. She managed nearly 40 Senate staff across eight offices in D.C. and Arkansas. Helen was instrumental in the Senator’s historic landslide reelection, hiring and managing fundraisers and consultants for the Senator’s campaign and leadership PAC operations, and coordinating efforts of the Senator’s office with those of the campaign. In addition, she was selected by colleagues to lead a group of past and present Senate and House Republican Chiefs and Committee Staff Directors.
Helen previously served as Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she was the primary legal, policy and procedural advisor to then-Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01). In Chairman Miller’s first Congress at the helm, Helen built the committee’s administrative operation, while serving as the chief representative during meetings with House Leadership and in conference negotiations with the Senate. Her efforts which resulted in six bipartisan, cost-neutral Committee-originated bills becoming Public Law. In recognition of the Committee’s successes during a Congress under divided party control, Helen was profiled by National Journal as one of “Fourteen Powerful Women on the Hill.”
In between stints in Washington, DC, Helen lobbied for the largest professional trade association in South Carolina and consulted with one of the state’s largest health insurers and employers.
For Troutman Sanders Strategies’ clients, Helen brings her unique insights and relationships to provide strategic consulting, advocacy and solutions to federal legislative and regulatory issues. She identifies opportunities to build coalitions benefitting her clients’ objectives, identifies federal funding opportunities, gathers political intelligence and advises on fundraising and political action committee engagement.
Helen grew up in Pensacola, Florida and graduated from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where serves as chair of its Board of Visitors. She holds a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and is a member of the South Carolina Bar. Helen and her husband, Mac, reside in McLean, VA with their three young children: Walker, Mary Mac, and Oliver.
Professional and Community Involvement
• State Bar of South Carolina
• Board of Trustees, Converse College
• Chair, Board of Visitors, Converse College
• Past RAMS Head, Republicans Associated for Mutual Support
• Senior Fellow, John C. Stennis Center for Public Service
• “Fourteen Powerful Women on the Hill” and “Hill People,” National Journal (2011)
• Young Alumnae Achievement Award, Inaugural Recipient, Converse College (2008)
• Annual Congressional Staff Award of Excellence, Retired Enlisted Association (2005)
• Annual Congressional Staff Appreciation Award, Reserve Officers Association of the United States (2004).
• “Unsung Heroes of the Legislative Process,” National Association of Uniformed Services (2004).
• United States Senate staff, 2013-2017, 2005-2007
• United States House of Representatives staff, 2010-2013, 2001-2005, 2000
• Corporate Consultant, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, 2010
• South Carolina REALTORS ®, 2007-2008
• Office of the Governor, State of South Carolina, 2001
• Office of Regulatory Litigation, Department of Revenue, State of South Carolina, 1999-2000