Wendeen Eolis was introduced to politics and government by her father, who lived to see Wendeen take on significant roles in public service. During her childhood , Wendeen's dad was a senior civil servant and progressed to a high level state official. Wendeen's interest in public service was further magnified as a result of a chance meeting with Rudy Giuliani, in 1978. Rudy's pride in public servant, resonated with Wendeen as a commitment to "giving back."But it was her friend Maureen Reagan, who pushed Wendeen to take public service more seriously when gubernatorial candidate George Pataki came knocking at her door.
Already a confidante to the Mayor, Wendeen became an advisor to the unlikely candidate for governor--joining the Pataki administration as his First Assistant and Senior Advisor. She united with Maureen for a trip to the Middle East in 1995, following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. She looked upon her friend's decision to act as a family representative with great admiration.
A Sense of Duty
In the immediate days after of 9.11, Wendeen headed to downtown Manhattan to volunteer her services. She counseled displaced lawyers and businesses in Lower Manhattan, as they assessed their options; residence and career relocations, and management of their legal affairs.
Following President George W. Bush's visit to New York, Wendeen brought her combined expertise as a due diligence expert in government assignments to the table. She began to recruit and vet lawyers and law firms for disaster recovery legal matters . Her legal consultancy provided pro bono executive counseling and attorney/law firm recommendations to businesses damaged or destroyed in downtown Manhattan. Eager to refine her increasingly unique understanding of the types of legal issues that arise in the face of catastrophic events, she traveled overseas to meet with her growing contacts in government. She visited hotbeds of terrorism in the United Kingdom, Israel, and India among others.
In 2002, following the death of Wendeen's father, she translated her 9/11 initiative, that began as a legal affairs crisis counseling program, to a formalized role; engaged as the steward of legal affairs crisis counseling and attorney and counsel vetting services to high level government officials. HCTF focuses on securing highly specialized legal talent and law firm counsel needs arising from incidents of violence and natural disasters.
The initiative was formalized as Hope's Champion Task Force, which now assists governments and citizens in America, American allies, and friends of America--around the world in the aftermath of catastrophic events-- frequently on overseas soil. She treats this work as a labor of love and a tribute to her father's nearly lifelong commitment to public service
Wendeen Eolis Loves New York!
Wendeen served as an adviser to Rudy Giuliani in his transitions back and forth between private sector practice and public service for 15 + years , notably including his long range assessment of alternatives, prior to leaving his position as the US Attorney (SDNY), in 1989. She was a member of his inner circle during his first two mayoralty campaigns. Prior to his taking office , Wendeen was on his Mayoral transition team. During his first year in office, Wendeen was a special advisor on City Hall operations, communications and spearheaded an evaluation and review of the City's Law Department.
WHE/Charles Gargano at WTCWendeen went on to become a special advisor to George Pataki, shortly before his New York State gubernatorial victory. She joined his administration as first assistant and senior advisor in 1995, as a confidante and independent thinker who took meetings with the Governor and on his behalf with legislators and external civic and corporate leaders. Her special projects included hot potato issues including Indian casino affairs and rent de-regulation. She also collaborated with other senior members of the Administration, including the Chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation ,Ambassador Charles Gargano. She has since served, intermittently, as a special advisor to senior officials and numerous government agencies in the State of New York.