By Megan R. Wilson - 07/16/13 08:30 PM EDT
Caterpillar has promoted Ben Lambert to help lead the company’s worldwide lobbying efforts.
Beginning on Aug. 1, 2013, Lambert will begin his new post as the company’s international advocacy manager, focusing on promoting Caterpillar’s interests in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The job will bring him to Washington from the company’s headquarters in Peoria, Ill.
In addition to working with the company’s global government affairs team, Lambert will connect with embassies and congressional leaders in his new role.
As the world’s largest producer of mining and construction equipment and other industrial products, Caterpillar is one of the leading advocates for increased foreign trade.
Lambert said his job is to help further “the Caterpillar story” of promoting growth in developing countries and furthering a reputation of brand quality.
“The policy environment is always changing and evolving,” Lambert told The Hill, though he said Caterpillar’s stance on advancing global trade initiatives will not waver.
Born and raised in Peoria, Ill., Lambert has been with the company’s Caterpillar Foundation for about five years. He worked to turn its grant program from a national effort into a worldwide endeavor.
Bill Lane, Caterpillar’s director of global government affairs, said more than half of the foundation’s contributions are to initiatives outside the United States, “particularly in the developing world.” Since its founding in 1952, the organization has donated more than $550 million to environmental sustainability, education and other programs.
Lambert has yet to make the move to the Beltway, but says he looks forward to getting started.
“This is a really fantastic opportunity and it's all going to be new and extremely exciting,” Lambert told The Hill in a telephone interview. “It's going to be a whole new world for me. ... The geographic change, anyway.”
But the Washington scene is not totally new to Lambert; his work with the foundation has allowed him to travel extensively and forge relationships with Caterpillar’s global government affairs officials that he said would help him “hit the ground running.”
Lane said he doesn’t like to call himself Lambert’s boss, but plays a role in “empowering him to succeed in Washington.”
“[Lambert] really occupies a nexus between business and policy,” Lane said. “He has a really unique background, which is one of the reasons why we're excited to have him out here.”
"Ben is also a great person to work with," he added.
Ann-Marie Padgett is Lambert's counterpart, serving as Caterpillar's international advocacy manager specializing in Asia.