Smith Advocacy Group LLC


For many decades developed the competence and skills to represent organizations in high-stakes matters critical to their economic success and regulatory compliance.  As a lawyer-lobbyist, congressional advisor and counsel, and agency lawyer and staff encountered a full range of business, legislative, and regulatory challenges.  This experience honed the necessary expertise to successfully represent organizations on a broad spectrum of issues critical to the operational and fiscal viability of each organization. 

For more than two decades as a lawyer-lobbyist:

  • Represented diverse industry and public sector clients consisting of over 250 domestic and international companies and organizations in complex and challenging legislative and regulatory matters. 
      • Consistently produced beneficial operational and fiscal results for numerous and diverse private and public sector entities through sophisticated government affairs strategy development and execution to achieve clients’ needs and objectives. 
      • Clientele interests included defense and national security, energy, homeland security, infrastructure, maritime, Native American and Alaska Native, natural resources, non-profit, public facilities, transportation, state & local government matters.
  • Provided strategic advice and direction to clients at the CEO/COO level and as needed for third party corporate partners affecting common operational performance and objectives, including a disciplined communication plan for government and public audiences, crisis and incident response advice, and lobbying and ethics compliance.
  • Implemented that strategy consistently in contentious and political environments resulting in favorable outcomes for clients through the passage of legislation or granting of regulatory or administrative relief.  Significant successful accomplishments include: 
      • 7-year effort to provide relief to recreational boating industry on workers’ compensation issue overcoming objections from organized labor and elected officials.
      • 3-year effort to provide relief to the national oilseed industry on adverse pollution compliance requirements overcoming objections from EPA, Administration, and congressional interests.
      • Over 20-year period conducted multiple separate efforts to provide relief to individual vessel owners from adverse vessel registration requirements overcoming objections from the domestic Jones Act coalition special interests, competitor vessel owners, and congressional interests.
  • Maintained key bipartisan relationships with Members of Congress and key congressional staff, many on first name basis, through such efforts as serving as campaign volunteer and official congressional portrait committee chair.
  • Accomplished communicator regarding legislative and regulatory affairs, including policy development, supporting documents and correspondence, and oral presentations, including a frequent presentor as a subject matter expert for industry conferences on shipping, maritime, and environmental issues.   

For a decade as senior chief counsel and congressional advisor:

·    Advised Members of Congress on key policy and strategy decisions for legislative objectives and oversight of regulatory agencies. 

·   Drafted and negotiated elements of key legislation with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and key Administration officials leading to significant shipping, maritime, oceanographic, and environmental legislation on a national scale including the Oil Pollution Act of 1990; modern codification of the shipping laws in Title 46, U.S. Code; and establishment of an environmental restoration program and account for Coast Guard.

·    Communicated directly with constituents, government agencies, and industry interest groups on all matters at conferences and public meetings. 

·    Frequently traveled with Members of Congress for field hearings and meetings to respond to constituent, industry, and public concerns and issues.

·    Lead a highly skilled staff of professionals with broad spectrum of subject matter oversight often in demanding and politcally charged environments. 

·    Was congressional advisor for a U.S. delegation to International Maritime Organization.

For many years service as a civilian Federal agency and Department attorney-advisor and military lawyer and officer:

·   Advised senior political appointees (General Counsel and Assistant Secretary level) and senior executive service officials and others from Cabinet-level departments and the Office of Management and Budget on a full spectrum of legislative and administrative responsibilities.

·   Developed and advocated for complete legislative packages (statutory amendments and supporting explanatory documents)

·   Oversaw congressional correspondence and record management

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