Lobbying World

• Patton Boggs has lost anther lobbyist, this time to Venable. Thomas C. Downs became a partner within Venable’s legislative and government affairs practice. A large part of Downs’s policy portfolio deals with appropriations and grants for nonprofit, corporate and education-related clients. He had been with Patton Boggs for almost two decades. 

 

• The American Bankers Association named Molly Wilkinson its new senior vice president and executive director of its Card Policy Council. She begins in mid-August, the trade group said, and will lead the team on payment-related issues. Prior to that, she was a senior vice president of regulatory policy and government relations at Regions Financial Corporation.

 

• Bailey Wood has become the vice president of communications for the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, the largest mining association by product volume, the group says. Prior to that, Wood worked at the National Automobile Dealers Association. He also has experience on Capitol Hill, serving as the communications director for the then-chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, former Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), among other positions.

• Kristina Baum has left public affairs firm DCI Group for a “millennial advocacy” nonprofit organization, according to a farewell email. She will become the regional press secretary for Generation Opportunity beginning on July 23, managing the media efforts across 26 states. 

 

• The Raben Group, which bills itself as a progressive public affairs firm, has created LGBT Strategies. There will be about 12 people in the practice, which aims to have a comprehensive approach including lobbying, messaging and speechwriting services, placing news stories and op-eds and advising donors on how to give politically. The firm, led by former Assistant Attorney General Robert Raben, has already advised organizations and corporations on LGBT issues, including Google, Viacom, Ford and Human Rights Campaign.

 

• John Lawrence, an aide to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), has joined eBay’s in-house lobbying staff. He will serve as the senior manager and counsel for federal government relations at the online retail company.  He had been working for Ayotte since 2011 and began working on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) in 2009.