Pawlenty hires Dem chief of staff at Roundtable

The Financial Services Roundtable has hired Francis Creighton, the chief of staff to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), as its top lobbyist.

He told The Hill he is ready to "try something new and different" after serving in Murphy's office since 2009.

Creighton will begin working as head of government affairs for the trade group headed by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Feb. 24. He’ll replace Scott Talbott, who left the Roundtable last fall.

“Francis is a dynamic leader with deep knowledge and expertise that will be key to our advocacy efforts in 2014,” Pawlenty, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement.  

Creighton largely earned his financial stripes while serving as the head lobbyist and vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association during the mortgage crisis in 2008. Overall, he spent six years at the trade group, from 2003 to 2009, until he went to work for Murphy.

Creighton was an appointee to the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration from 1999 to 2001, where he worked on private sector employee benefits and then left for GCI Group, a consulting and public relations firm. He then headed up Rep. Steve Israel’s (D-N.Y.) legislative portfolio while on the House Financial Services Committee. 

“His vast experience in the financial sector and in Washington will put him at the helm of an important role at FSR representing the industry,” Pawlenty said.

“We look forward to addressing issues like housing reform, cybersecurity, terrorism risk insurance and others critical to consumers under his leadership.”

With a brand-name Republican like Pawlenty at the helm, Creighton could help with outreach to Democrats on Capitol Hill. Ethics rules bar him from lobbying the Senate for a full year.