Blue Marble Strategy is a specialty government affairs firm focused on a safer, healthier, and more compassionate planet. Our clients are organizations and individuals working on some of the most important societal issues of our time, like animal and environmental protection, wildlife conservation, reasonable gun laws, affordable healthcare for all, and inclusive immigration policies.
Our purpose: Provide a strong voice for groups and individuals seeking to engage in the national dialogue on important issues. We deliver professional, skilled consultation and lobbying expertise, along with an unparalleled knowledge of the issues and passion for the subject matter that you won’t find in a typical D.C. lobbying firm.
The firm takes its name from the famous “Blue Marble” photo captured during the 1972 Apollo 17 space mission. That picture reminds us that we all share this tiny blue marble: humans need to think and act accordingly as we make decisions affecting everything around us. As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else."
“Strategy” is our watchword. We are big-picture thinkers, and we use our innovative vision to successfully navigate challenges on behalf of our clients.
Chris Heyde - Founder/CEO
Chris is the founder of Blue Marble Strategy, LLC, in Washington, D.C. As the nation’s leading animal protection lobbyist, Chris has been involved in every federal animal legislative effort undertaken in the last 20 years, ranging from initiating and continuing to lead the national campaign against horse slaughter and stopping the sale and trade of shark fins to establishing a national sanctuary system for chimpanzees used in federal research programs. Chris has successfully worked with House and Senate Appropriations Committees on a variety of efforts to protect horses, lab animals and primates. In addition to his efforts on the federal level, Chris has worked with state legislatures on a variety of animal protection initiatives across the country. He successfully closed horse slaughter plants in Texas and did the first state bill to ban horse slaughter in Illinois as well as work on laws to improve the welfare of companion and farm animals.
He launched Blue Marble Strategy after 17 years as head of government and legal affairs for the nation's oldest federal animal protection legislation program. Before entering the animal protection field, Chris was vice president of a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm that represented clients from health care, education and defense. Prior to that, he worked on the staff of former Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Connie Mack of Florida, covering issue areas that included animal protection and the environment, veterans affairs and small business.
A small-town Ohio native, after high school graduation Chris served for four years in the U.S. Army in West Germany and the Washington, D.C., area. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Bethany College in West Virginia and master’s degree in political science / international relations from Ohio University.
In his free time, Chris serves as vice-chair of Willie's Kids, a nonprofit humane education organization founded by the family of singer-songwriter Willie Nelson. He is a member of the Global Ethics Committee at the Jane Goodall Institute, as well as an advisory board member for Predator Defense, a national nonprofit to protect native predators. He lives in Washington, DC, with Boudica, his rescue pit bull mix.
Blair St. Ledger-Olson - Senior Policy & Advocacy Advisor
Blair is a clean energy and environmental sustainability advocate with a background in conversation research. She received her Master’s in Science from the University of Virginia in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Ecology. Her undergraduate degree is in Environmental Studies with a minor in Mathematics from Hollins University. Blair's research focused on how endangered species populations might respond to climate change, focusing on animal behavior and coastal resiliency.
Prior to her graduate work, Blair’s first experience in the political sector was as an intern almost 15 years ago with the now retired Senator John Warner (R-VA). As a fierce supporter of the Endangered Species Act, Warner’s office was a unique opportunity to work on issues she was passionate about. Her tenure on Capitol Hill continued from there, and she went on to advocate for legislation with the Animal Welfare Institute before being recruited to the Office of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) during the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill crisis.
These positions gave her a unique perspective on the political process, sitting on both sides of the metaphorical legislative desk.
After influential experiences in both the nonprofit and private sectors, she now specializes in advocacy and education, and leverages behavioral social science techniques to design empowering behavior change campaigns. When not out hiking with her two rescue dogs, she works with communities to have a positive impact on their environment.