Meet DMA's Government Affairs Team

As your company focuses on its core business functions, DMA’s Government Affairs team is constantly focused on the wide range of policy and political issues that affect the direct marketing community.  There are many ways for you to connect directly with the team: 

  • Whenever Congress is in session, DMA’s Government Affairs team publishes Direct from Washington, a weekly e-newsletter including vital legislative updates that help you stay current with activity in Congress, at federal agencies, and in state governments.
  • Monthly conference calls with the DMA Government Affairs team enable Washington Representatives at member companies to hear what’s new across a broad range of federal and state policy issues.
  • DMA’s Government Affairs team leads coalitions of both member companies and other associations in coordinated industry action on important policy issues.

Read on to learn about and connect directly with each member of the team, or send an email to Cristina DeBiase to learn more about our publications, conference calls and coalitions.


Peggy Hudson

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs

Peggy Hudson is senior vice president of government affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and head of DMA’s Washington office. She represents the interest of thousands of business and nonprofit members before policymakers on Capitol Hill, before key agencies, within state capitals, and across the globe. Peggy leads the advocacy, political fundraising and policy research efforts of the DMA.

Before starting at DMA, Peggy was CEO of Hudson Global Strategies, LLC. Additionally, she was vice president of federal and international affairs for energy giant, BP. In this role, she managed BP’s federal government relations strategy and ran the Washington office, as well as represented the company in the U.S. in front of representatives from countries across the globe. Peggy has worked on Capitol Hill, in trade associations, and corporate offices, bringing to DMA and its members years of experience.

Peggy has been successfully representing business interests in Washington, D.C. for over three decades. Her special strengths include a broad and powerful network, a sophisticated understanding of political strategy, refined organizational skills, and a demonstrated ability to further industry agendas by working within the public policy process.

Rachel Nyswander Thomas

Executive Director, Data-Driven Marketing Institute

Vice President, Government Affairs

Rachel Nyswander Thomas is Executive Director of the Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI) and Vice President of Government Affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). 

Thomas leads DDMI in conducting independent, academic research regarding how the responsible use of consumer data shapes industry and society.  She directs DDMI efforts to engage policymakers, consumers and the media in conversations about the responsible use of data, ensuring that DDMI research informs data policy debates in Washington and beyond.

As Vice President of Government Affairs, Thomas represents the data-driven marketing community’s policymaking interests on Capitol Hill, before key federal agencies and in multi-stakeholder policy forums.  She leads industry-wide policy coalitions on issues of consumer data use, including children’s privacy, mobile and geolocation technology, social media, behavioral targeting, data security and cybersecurity.  She serves as consultant to DMA members regarding policy engagement and regulatory compliance.  Thomas also manages strategic communications to members, policymakers, press and other key stakeholders.

Thomas came to DMA from The McGraw-Hill Companies, where she served most recently as manager for privacy and government affairs. In that role, she advocated the corporation’s agenda before federal policymakers on issues relating to privacy, data security, behavioral advertising, environmental and “do not promote” legislation. She also held chief responsibility for business compliance with the corporation’s customer privacy policy, auditing worldwide operations and providing regulatory compliance consultation to a global corps of privacy officials.

Thomas holds a BA degree in Humanities from Yale University and a Masters of Policy Management degree from Georgetown University. She holds her Certified International Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Christopher Oswald

Vice President, State Affairs

Christopher (“Chris”) Oswald is the Vice President of State Affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). In this role, Oswald serves as the main interface between DMA, its members, state legislatures, and the policymaking arena.

Prior to joining DMA, Oswald served as Reed Elsevier Inc.’s director of state government affairs. In this position, he supervised the company’s western state and local legislative and regulatory advocacy strategies by managing contract lobbyists and directly lobbying diverse issues, including emerging information technology, data privacy and security, public records, IP and copyright protection, publishing, background checks, trade shows, insurance, health care, and anti-human trafficking.

Previously, Oswald was director of state government affairs for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, where he supervised advocacy efforts in the states by coordinating policy, communication, and research initiatives and directed political and grassroots efforts on issues including state licensing of mortgage loan originators, foreclosure moratoria, and local registration of vacant and abandoned properties. He also served as director of criminal justice and homeland security task forces for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

As state liaison for the National Rifle Association, Oswald successfully lobbied pro-Second Amendment issues and coordinated grassroots and electoral efforts for the NRA in many states throughout the country. Oswald also served as an aide to Congressman Bill Baker, volunteered in California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legislative office, and worked on a variety of campaigns.

A member of the California State Bar, Oswald earned a J.D. and Governmental Affairs Certificate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and a B.A. in international political economy from Whitworth College.

Cristina DeBiase

Government Affairs Assistant

Cristina (“Cris”) DeBiase is Government Affairs Assistant for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). She is a recent graduate of Hamilton College, with a B.A. in Public Policy and Jurisprudence, Law, and Justice Studies.

Prior to joining DMA, Cris interned for Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY) while finishing her last semester of school. She also previously interned for the Public Integrity Section in the Department of Justice, as well as for Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA).