Andrew Koneschusky: 40 Under 40 2014

Partner, CLS Strategies
Age: 33

Andrew Koneschusky is a high flier in more ways than one. Not only is he a certified private pilot, but he has helped his firm, CLS Strategies, ascend to new heights.

Having joined the company as MD in 2010, he quickly rose through the ranks to become a partner, advising clients in several industries including financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, and robotics.

For the past two years, Koneschusky has been working to pave the way for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems – often referred to as drones – into US airspace by 2015.

The public affairs campaign he has spearheaded has changed perceptions of the technology and generated support from governors, members of Congress, academics, and Amazon.com. As a result, the
unmanned systems industry is on track to unlock an $89 billion market and create more than 100,000 new jobs in the US in years to come.

Other key achievements include his campaign to restore Kenya’s image in the US following post-election violence in 2008. Working closely with the Kenyan embassy in Washington and various ministries in Nairobi, he helped ensure the country got recognition for passing a new constitution, implementing reforms, combating militants in Somalia, and growing its economy.

When Kenya held free, fair, and peaceful elections in March 2013, it won praise from US and international observers.

While working at Levick Strategic Communications, Koneschusky led the communications effort behind the landmark Supreme Court case that granted habeas corpus rights to detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

Other previous roles include working on Capitol Hill as national press secretary for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Bob Chlopak, founding partner at CLS, says Koneschusky’s enthusiasm "drives a spirit of achievement" among colleagues.

"Andrew guides our diverse clients to achieve their goals and avoid major pitfalls, while also helping to chart the future of our business," he says. "Their trust in Andrew comes from his deep passion for understanding their issues as well as they do."

 

• Koneschusky flies Cessna 172s on the weekends and is hoping to start training for an instrument rating soon

• An avid traveller, he has visited more than a dozen countries on four continents for both business and pleasure. New Zealand is his favorite thus far

• Koneschusky plays acoustic guitar and enjoys karaoke a little too much

• He has attended so many concerts that he’s lost count and insists the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, is the best music venue in the country

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