Washington lobbyists speak out on the results the day after the 2012 Presidential Election.
Chris Frates, Lobbying Correspondent, National Journal
Jack Howard, Vice Chairman & Chief Operating Officer, Wexler & Walker Public Policy
Joel Johnson, Managing Director, The Glover Park Group
Bill Pierce, Senior Director, APCO Worldwide
Heather Podesta, Founder and President, Heather Podesta + Partners
As National Journal’s lobbying correspondent, Chris Frates covers the intersection of money, politics,
and policy inhabited by Washington’s influence class. Prior to joining National Journal, he worked for Politico where he founded and authored “Politico Influence,” a daily intelligence and analysis email chronicling Washington’s lobbyists and message makers. He also covered healthcare reform for Politico, regularly breaking news and driving the conversation on that all-consuming debate. Mr. Frates also founded and wrote Politico Pulse, the organization’s daily health reform briefing that
quickly became a must-read crib sheet in Washington.
Before coming to Washington, Mr. Frates covered the Colorado legislature and politics for The Denver Post and was part of a team whose work was recognized as a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. He has covered three statehouses and numerous local, state, and national campaigns, and his political analysis has been featured on the CBS Evening News, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, WTOP, and many other national and local television and radio programs. Of all the important people he has interviewed, Mr. Frates still counts Mister Rogers among his favorites.
With nearly 25 years of service in government, Mr. Howard is the only person in Washington to have served as a senior strategic advisor to two Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, and as a key member of the White House staff to both President Bushes. This gives him the unique ability to advise clients from the first hand perspective of not just the House, Senate or White House alone, but all three combined.
Prior to joining Wexler & Walker, Mr. Howard served as in the White House as Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush. He worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs where he coordinated the efforts of senior White House officials, the Cabinet Departments and agencies to secure congressional passage of President Bush’s top legislative priorities. Earlier he served in the White House under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992, also in the Legislative Affairs office, where he had similar responsibilities.
Mr. Howard also has extensive experience having worked at the highest levels of the U.S. Congress, having served as senior counsel and advisor to Republican leaders of the House and Senate, including Speakers Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich as well as Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Mr. Howard’s experience has earned him recognition as an inside leader in Washington. National Journal names him one of the “Top 50 Bush White House staff members,” while Capitol Hill’s leading newspaper, Roll Call, regularly acknowledged Howard among the “Top 50 Congressional staff members.”
Joel Johnson is a managing director with The Glover Park Group. With over two decades of legislative and communications experience, he leads a team of professionals who specialize in crafting and implementing legislative strategy.
Prior to joining The Glover Park Group in 2005, Mr. Johnson founded The Harbour Group and built an impressive portfolio of private and public clients worldwide. Before that, he served President Clinton as senior advisor for policy and communications. In that capacity, Mr. Johnson was charged with coordinating the messaging strategy designed to promote the administration’s legislative and policy goals.
Mr. Johnson also has experience in strategic communications on Capitol Hill. In 1995, he was appointed staff director for the Senate Democratic Leadership, serving as Tom Daschle’s chief legislative and communications advisor for five years. He also served the House Democratic Leadership as executive director of the Democratic Study Group, held senior staff positions on the Senate Judiciary and Labor and Human Resources Committees, and was chief of staff to Senator Howard
Bill Pierce is a senior vice president of APCO Worldwide, where he specializes in providing strategic advice, tactical execution, and representation to a wide range of clients. He is also an adjunct
professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches courses in media relations.
Prior to joining APCO, Mr. Pierce was the deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2005, serving as senior spokesman for
the department and then-Secretary Tommy Thompson. Before that, Mr. Pierce held posts as the director of public affairs for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, press secretary for Rep.
Bill Thomas and Sen. Olympia Snowe, and director of communications for the National Taxpayers Union. He began his career in Washington as a research analyst for the National Republican
Mr. Pierce also currently serves as an advisor to the Hope Street Group and is a board member of Hope Beyond Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to maximize healthcare delivery to the less fortunate. He holds a B.A. in political science and English and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Pittsburgh.
Heather Podesta launched the government relations firm Heather Podesta + Partners in 2007. A leading legislative and public policy strategist with experience on Capitol Hill and in the private sector, Ms. Podesta’s clients include non-profits and Fortune 500 companies from the healthcare, financial, and energy sectors. She previously worked for several members of Congress on tax writing committees, including the late Rep. Robert Matsui (D-CA), Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), and Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ). She also served as assistant general counsel at the Air Transport Association and general counsel at the Airlines Clearing House.
Ms. Podesta is an active Democratic organizer and political adviser to many elected officials in Washington and in state capitals across the nation. She is a trustee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, serves on the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, sits on the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ford’s Theatre. Ms. Podesta holds a BA from the University of California Berkeley as well as a JD from the University of Virginia’s School of Law.
Bill Pierce, a senior vice president of APCO Worldwide, lays out the plan the Obama Administration should follow during the lame duck session in Congress. Despite the resounding affirmation of his agenda, Pierce declares that Obama should work to build a bridge to the opposing Republicans.