Lobbying world May 19, 2010

• Ben Klein has joined Heather Podesta + Partners. He was Sen. Byron Dorgan’s (D-N.D.) legislative director and has also worked as Dorgan’s legislative adviser on healthcare and education policy. Before joining Dorgan’s staff, Klein was a senior lobbyist with the American Cancer Society.

• Lou Hayden has been hired by Williams, a natural-gas company, as director of federal legislative affairs. He was the senior director of federal relations at the American Petroleum Institute for seven years. Prior to that, he was legislative director for the National Association of Homebuilders and has also worked on political campaigns at the presidential, gubernatorial and congressional levels, including for Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

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• John S. “Jay” Darden is joining Patton Boggs as a partner in its Washington office. He will work in the litigation department’s healthcare fraud and abuse and white-collar crime practices. Darden was formerly the assistant chief of the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, where he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of healthcare fraud and anti-kickback violations.

• Lori A. Salley has been named executive director of the Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy. Salley worked previously as a consultant and senior government-relations adviser at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. She spent more than 17 years as a House aide.

• Christy Setzer has started a new public-relations firm called New Heights Communications. She worked in the press office for the Service Employees International Union. Setzer worked on Democratic presidential campaigns, as Iowa press secretary for former Vice President Al Gore, spokeswoman for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and national press secretary for Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.). She has  begun consulting for labor coalition Change to Win and for Defeat Poverty D.C.

• Paul Jacobson has been hired by USEC Inc. as vice president of corporate communications. Before joining the firm, he worked for Evergreen Energy, a green-energy technology company, as well as for Adelphia Communications Inc. He has also served as deputy director of communications for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).

• Conor Yunits has joined the Liberty Square Group as senior vice president for communications. Yunits founded and wrote two Massachusetts-based political blogs, KennedySeat.com and MassBeacon.com. He also has spent four years as the director of communications for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.