Reginald E. Gilliam Jr., a lawyer and lobbyist who served as a senior executive for Sodexo, a Gaithersburg-based food and facilities management company, died March 28 at George Washington University Hospital. He was 67.
He had complications from lymphoma, said his wife, Arleen Gilliam.
Mr. Gilliam, the son of a Pullman railroad car porter, was a Harvard-educated lawyer. He first came to the Washington region in 1975 as the legislative counsel to Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio).
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Mr. Gilliam to the Interstate Commerce Commission, a regulatory body that oversees the railroad, long-haul trucking and passenger bus industries. In his three years at the commission, he advocated the hiring and promotion of minorities.
During the mid-1980s, he served as New York state’s director of commercial transportation under Gov. Mario Cuomo (D) before becoming chief of staff for Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
In 1993, Mr. Gilliam joined the lobbying firm Hill and Knowlton, where his clients included the city of Cleveland and the Republic of Botswana. He was senior managing director at Hill and Knowlton before joining Sodexo in 2002. He helped establish the firm’s government affairs office and was a senior vice president at the time of his death.
Reginald Earl Gilliam Jr. was born Dec. 29, 1944, in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. He was a 1965 graduate of Lincoln University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania. He was a 1968 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he helped found the Harvard Black Law Students Association.
He taught political science at Williams College in Massachusetts before moving to Washington.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Arleen Fain Gilliam, of Vienna.
— T. Rees Shapiro