Lobbying World

• A bipartisan group of political operatives has formed a full-service public relations firm called ForeFront Strategies. The business brings together Craig Veith, a former spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Scott Williams, a veteran Capitol Hill aide for Democrats such as Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.). The firm says it will help clients with “high-stakes political, legal and business battles.” 

• Baker Donelson named Spencer Wolf as an adviser in its Washington office. He will serve within the firm’s federal public policy group, specializing in national security policy matters. He previously worked for former Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and for two congressional campaigns.

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• Jim Neill and Dr. Suzanne Hartigan have joined the International Fragrance Association, North America as it expands its legislative, policy and research efforts. Neill will serve as the vice president of government affairs, while Hartigan will work as the group’s director of science policy and regulatory affairs. Neill has worked for the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Association of Manufacturers. Most recently, Hartigan worked at SOCMA, a specialty-batch chemical trade association.

• Heidi Wilson has joined the Generic Pharmaceutical Association as its director of federal government affairs. Prior to that, she held a similar position at Universal American Corp. From 2009 to 2011, Wilson worked in the office of former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), advising the lawmaker on healthcare and other legislative issues.

• Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, former commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command, has joined the board of directors for the mining company U.S. Rare Earths. Prior to retiring from the military in 2003, he served as the commander of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. He also advises several organizations, including the Military Child Education Coalition and the Southeastern Guide Dog Organization.

• The American Academy of Pediatrics named Mark Del Monte as its chief public affairs officer. He has been with the organization since 2005, and has served as the director of its federal affairs office since 2010. In the new post, he will oversee all federal and regulatory policy work, while also directing issue campaigns and communications.