Jackson Thein


Jackson Thein is a Director in the Health Practice. Before joining Waxman Strategies, Jackson most recently served as a policy advisor for Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, where he led a portfolio encompassing health care, education, nutrition, and LGBTQ+ policy. He also supported Senator Merkley’s work as a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee member.

Jackson was the lead staff member on bipartisan legislative efforts to establish the Office of Rural Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officially designated by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. 

During his time with Senator Merkley, Jackson spearheaded several new legislative initiatives, including bipartisan legislation to address risk adjustment in the Medicare Advantage program, prescription drug pricing transparency, and the role of nurses in federal health programs.

Jackson holds a Master of Public Health degree focusing in epidemiology from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. He wrote his postgraduate dissertation by conducting an epidemiological analysis of antimicrobial resistance between humans and livestock. Jackson also holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry & molecular biology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

A native of rural Eastern Oregon, Jackson spends his free time running, reading fiction, and enjoying live music whenever possible.

Our Team


  • Directed bipartisan legislative efforts to create and fund the CDC’s Office of Rural Health.

  • Served as acting appropriations manager supporting the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations cycle, including vetting over $150 million in Congressionally Directed Spending projects for communities in Oregon.

  • Led federal oversight activity to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to unregulated synthetic nicotine products, menthol cigarettes, and flavored cigars.


Office: 202.480.0196