Michael Gaffin   Senior Vice President


Michael Gaffin joined The Smith-Free Group in 2021. His time in government and politics, coupled with his experience in finance and business provides clients with a unique and effective perspective that meets their demands.


For seven years he was the Chief Political Strategist for the Marwood Group, a healthcare focused political intelligence and advisory firm that identifies and analyzes the impact of legislative and regulatory risk for private equity firms, hedge funds, institutional investors and healthcare companies. In his time at the firm he gained invaluable real world banking and finance experience dealing with healthcare investors and operators from all over the world, while maintaining his relationships with policy makers throughout Washington.


Prior to heading downtown in 2014, Mr. Gaffin spent nearly a decade on Capitol Hill working for members in both the House and Senate. 


He began his career working on the committee staff of the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) focusing on labor and employment issues. Later, he would serve Chairman George Miller (D-CA) on his House Education and Labor committee staff where he worked on landmark legislation such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, as well as many other labor, healthcare and other workforce related items. Following his time working for the House Education and Labor committee, he joined Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s (D-CA) office where he helped manage her portfolio on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 


Mr. Gaffin rounded out his U.S. House of Representatives experience as Congressman Rob Andrews’ (D-NJ) Legislative Director and head of his D.C. office where he handled healthcare, higher education issues like the Gainful Employment regulation, armed services and budget policy. During his time in Mr. Andrews’ office the Congressman was one of the six original authors of the Affordable Care Act in the US House of Representatives and an active member of the Democratic Caucus.


Before leaving public service, he served in Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) office as the Legislative Director for the bipartisan U.S. Senate Northeast Midwest Coalition where he helped coordinate and pass legislation concerning regional policy priorities in the energy, environmental, trade and manufacturing areas.  


Mike attended Bowling Green State University where he met his wife, Shelley, as members of their respective golf teams. They live in Alexandria, VA with their daughter Jaclyn.