NEW AT THE TOP
Position: Chairman of Bryan Cave Strategies and partner with Bryan Cave
Career highlights: Vice president of congressional affairs, AT&T and BellSouth; senior congressional affairs adviser, Kerry-Edwards 2004 presidential campaign; deputy assistant to the president and House liaison, White House Office of Legislative Affairs; special assistant, White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
Education: BA, philosophy, College of the Holy Cross; course work in graduate studies, Bowling Green State University; JD, University of Michigan Law School.
Personal: He lives with his wife in the Chevy Chase area of the District and has three children.
How did you get where you are?
A law background provides a variety of opportunities in a region like Washington. You can work on Capitol Hill, in a law firm, or hang your own shingle and start your own practice.
When I first came to Washington, I was fresh out of law school. I went to Capitol Hill, where I developed skills for drafting legislation and congressional rules.
In 1998, I went to work in the White House as a chief lobbyist for legislative affairs operations. The experience was tremendously rewarding and a career turning point. I was President Bill Clinton's eyes and ears in the House for almost 2 1/2 years, where I led a team of people that aided in either blocking adverse legislation or lobbying for favorable legislation. Convincing enough key Democrats that they needed to support the president on a bill to normalize major trade relations with China was a challenge and therefore it was a real accomplishment when it passed in the House in May of 2000 and later the Senate.
After 15 years of public service, I returned to the private sector, working for AT&T's Washington office of governmental affairs. The Hurricane Katrina catastrophe was a challenge. We helped Congress pass a tax-related credit for businesses in regions heavily affected by the hurricane.
As it became clear that Democrats were going to be in control of the House and Senate in 2006, a number of prospects came my way. There were lobbying firms, law firms and other corporations looking for traditional in-house help in the area of government relations.
In 2007, I became president of Bryan Cave Strategies, where I helped lead and strengthen its ties to the law firm so that it evolved into a fundamental practice group in the law firm. That led to my appointment as chairman of Bryan Cave Strategies and as partner in the law firm.
I will establish and lead the firm's public policy and government affairs group. As a leader, I am impressed by the people within the company and by the clear commitment of the firm to expand its government relations practice.
-- Charity Brown
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