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Kim Cantor, Michael Kim, Toya Barnes-Teamer, Lara Couturier and Brian Fox Join Fast Expanding Health and Education Practices; Karen Levin Joins as Finance and Operations Director Washington, D.C.

HCM Strategists, one of the nation’s leading advocacy and public policy firms, today announced a series of important new hires as it builds out its team of experts in the health and education spaces. Kim Cantor and Michael Kim join the firm’s health team, while Lara Couturier, Toya Barnes-Teamer and Brian Fox join the education practice. Karen Levin has also been appointed as finance and operations director. The news follows the departure of Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, formerly a principal at HCM Strategists, allowing for her appointment as deputy under secretary of the Education Department.

“We’re delighted to announce these important new hires that will help HCM Strategists further its vision of making a difference in the lives of students and patients,” said Terrell Halaska, managing partner at HCM Strategists. “We’re also proud of HCM alumna Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, for her appointment to the Education Department.”

HCM Strategies’ health team and advocacy capacity expands with the appointment of Kim Cantor as a director, where she will support a number of HCM’s clients. Cantor comes to HCM from the Lupus Foundation of America, where she developed her expertise as the vice president of advocacy and government relations. Cantor’s knowledge in the healthcare space comes from years of experience leading teams at the PKD Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Joining Cantor on the health team is Michael Kim, who will join as an associate. He comes to HCM from NVG LLC, a DC-based government relations firm specializing in public policy, advocacy, strategic advice and outreach. Kim and Michael will be working across HCM’s health clients.

Dr. Toya Barnes-Teamer joins the HCM Strategies team in May as a director in the education practice, where she will build a new portfolio supporting institutions and systems focused on equity and improving student success. She will continue work she has supported since 2013 as a senior consultant, including for the University System of Georgia and Lumina Foundation. Barnes-Teamer currently serves as the vice president of student success at Dillard University, a top ten-ranked HBCU, and was senior vice president for academic affairs and student affairs for the Louisiana Technical and Community College System.

Dr. Lara Couturier also joins the firm as a director in the education practice. Previously, Couturier served as the director of postsecondary state policy at Jobs for the Future, where she directed research and publications for Jobs for the Future’s (JFF) Postsecondary State Policy Network, and provided technical assistance to policy teams in 13 states in support of various student success initiatives. At HCM, Couturier will support Lumina Foundation’s Strategy Labs and Community Partnership for Attainment and the Campaign for College Opportunity.

Brian Fox, a new Senior Associate, brings significant postsecondary education finance experience to a number of clients at HCM. Fox previously served as the director of university budget and finance where he supported the successful development, adoption and implementation of Oregon’s first postsecondary outcomes-based funding formula for the state’s seven public universities.

Bringing twenty years of experience in business management and financial planning for professional services, is Karen Levin who fills the newly created position of finance and operations director. Her most recent role was with Grayling Public Relations and Whiteboard Advisors, where she served as the senior director of finance. Levin played an integral role in the retention of a high-stakes, multi-milliondollar line of business comprised of corporate, non-profit, association, foundation, university and entrepreneur clients.

For further information about HCM Strategists or its new hires, please contact Jessica Hunt (

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