Lobbying World

• BGR Group hired its third Democratic lobbyist: former top State Department aide Maya Seiden. She served as the chief of staff to the deputy secretary of State, in addition to holding several other senior positions in the department during her five-year tenure there. She also spent time in the Clinton administration, where she served as the assistant to the secretary of Energy and special assistant to the White House Cabinet secretary. In the private sector, she worked for BlackRock and New York University.

•Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) plucked a lobbyist from the American Shipping and Logistics Group, Yvette Wissmann, to work on commerce and foreign trade issues in his office, according to congressional tracking website LegiStorm. Miller serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Wissmann, who worked as a lobbyist for K&L Gates for almost 10 years, also spent time working on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). 

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•Chandler Smith has been named the vice president of communications specializing in government affairs at the American Hotel & Lodging Association. She will start the new job on Sept. 8. During the last two years, she has worked as the communications director for Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). She also worked on his campaign and had been a press secretary for the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, among other posts. In her new role, she will “work closely with the government affairs team to promote the association’s advocacy efforts,” according to the group.

• Akin Gump hired a Justice Department attorney as a partner in its international trade practice. Jonathan Poling comes from the counterespionage section of the department’s National Security Division, specializing in representing clients with sanctions issues, in addition to export-control and other trade matters. Among his more notable prosecutions was a case against ING Bank that became one of the largest sanctions cases ever. 

• Jonathan Haray, a former attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, has become a partner at DLA Piper in its litigation practice. He most recently served as the SEC’s assistant chief litigation counsel. He worked as the deputy chief of the fraud and public corruption section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington from 2007 to 2012. While at the financial regulator, he worked on white-collar investigations and complex securities fraud cases.