Lobbying World

Molly Haigh has been named as the communications director at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Prior to that, she worked at Fitzgibbon Media and 350.org.

• The Consumer Bankers Association has hired Sam Whitfield as a senior vice president of congressional affairs, a post in which he will lead the government relations team at the trade group. He most recently serviced as the deputy chief advocacy officer for congressional relations at the Credit Union National Association, and has also worked at the National Association of Realtors, served within the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and for former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Steptoe & Johnson has made several promotions, including making partner Leslie Belcher a managing director in its government affairs and public policy practice in Washington. She focuses on policy in appropriations, tax, trade, energy and healthcare and has previously worked as the top aide for Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and former Rep. Wes Watkins (D-Okla). 

Dana Atkins, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). He succeeds retired Navy Vice Adm. Norbert Ryan, who has led the organization for 14 years. Atkins has been the president of Chronicle Media in Augusta, Ga., since his retirement in 2012.

Ervin Hill Strategy has hired John Blount as a senior vice president of global government relations. He most recently served as a partner Tauzin Consultants, and has experience as the top lobbyist for the National Association of Realtors and as a senior vice president of Capitol Hill Consulting Group. 

Peter Nonis has joined the Business Council for International Understanding as its director of corporate development. He comes from the American Society of Civil Engineers and previously held posts at AAA and the American Motorcyclist Association. 

Ted Greener has left the DCI Group to become the director of public affairs at the Association of American Railroads

Thomas Downs, a veteran lobbyist at some of Washington’s largest firms, is creating his own shop called Downs Government Affairs. The firm is affiliating with 10 others, including senior government aides and former members of Congress, including former Rep. George Hochbrueckner (D-N.Y.); Sarah Gesiriech, who has served as an adviser to first lady Laura Bush; Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: 'Good chance' Senate panel will consider bills to protect Mueller Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Iowa) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Downs has been on K Street for two decades, including at firms Patton Boggs and Venable, and previously worked as an aide in the House and Senate.


- This post was updated on Jan. 6.