Top Lobbyists 2015: Corporate

Top Lobbyists 2015: Corporate
© Getty Images

There are well over 10,000 lobbyists in Washington, not to mention countless labor and business leaders, public relations specialists and advocates of all stripes vying to influence Congress and the federal government.

But when it comes to shaping federal policy, some have set themselves apart. These are the lobbyists who’ve mastered the art of working Capitol Hill’s hallways, whose Rolodexes are stocked with names of power brokers and who lead groups that simply cannot be ignored.


These are The Hill’s Top Lobbyists.

The 2015 list includes top dogs at some of Washington’s leading trade groups, and battle-tested advocates for public interest groups and grassroots organizations.

This installment features K Street’s top hired guns, the pros whom groups around the country enlist when they need to get something done.

It also includes corporate lobbyists who’ve helped firms make their mark on legislation before Congress or regulations moving through the federal rulemaking pipeline.

While everyone on this list has proven to be effective in advocating at the federal level, not all are formally registered as lobbyists. Rather, The Hill’s Top Lobbyists are a broad array of professionals who work day in and day out to shape the agenda in Washington.

Yesterday: Top lobbyists from associations and grassroots groups.

Today: Top corporate lobbyists and hired guns.

Cory Alexander and Peter Jacoby, UnitedHealth Group Inc.
The former Democratic staffers are helping UnitedHealth navigate changing times. As the company is leaving the insurance trade group AHIP, its four largest rivals are involved in mergers.  

Bryan Anderson, Southern Co.
Anderson fights for one of the nation’s largest electric utilities as the company works to expand nuclear power in the U.S. and around the globe.

Sid Ashworth, Northrop Grumman Corp.
Ashworth and the defense titan has just won a huge contract to build the Air Force’s new Long Range Strike Bomber. 

Bill Barloon, Sprint Nextel Corp.
Sprint has decided to sit out the next airwaves auction but is continuing to lobby on everything from cybersecurity and spectrum to the open Internet and wireless build-out of the Washington, D.C., transit system.

Wayne Berman, Blackstone Group LP
Berman has a firm grasp on policy and politics — a well-regarded shoe-leather lobbyist, he also remains connected with GOP donors.

Abigail Blunt, Kraft Foods Group Inc.
Blunt maintains Kraft’s strong ties in Washington as the company reduces its products’ calorie and sodium content and has worked to influence the government’s rewrite of federal dietary guidelines. 

Stephen Brown, Tesoro Corp.
Brown and Tesoro, a leading oil refiner, have waged battles over Environmental Protection Agency biofuel regulations and backed lifting the ban on crude oil exports — something many other refiners have opposed.

William Carty, Twitter Inc.
The social media giant’s head of public policy is managing the company’s growing influence in Washington.

Pablo Chavez, LinkedIn Corp.
Chavez leads a team lobbying for the business contact network on issues ranging from recruiting and veteran employment to immigration and surveillance reform.

James Cicconi and Tim McKone, AT&T Inc.
AT&T recently convinced regulators to approve its merger with DirecTV, but the company has a number of other issues on its plate with the Federal Communications Commission.  

Maria Cino, Hewlett-Packard Co.
Cino has been busy as Hewlett-Packard recently spun off its software business from its hardware business.

Peter Cleveland, Intel Corp.
Cleveland has been at Intel for half a decade as the company advocates on trade, patent reform and the emerging “Internet of Things.”  

Kenneth Cole, Pfizer Inc.
The veteran lobbyist is helping the company contend with increased scrutiny of skyrocketing drug prices. 

Nancy Dorn, General Electric Co.
Dorn, a former George W. Bush administration budget official, manages the corporate giant’s policy initiatives, including a push this year to conclude the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership and get the Export-Import Bank reauthorized.

Mark Esper, Raytheon Co.
Esper — a former Pentagon official, Senate staffer and Army colonel — lobbies to influence major legislation such as the annual defense policy bill.  

Theresa Fariello, Exxon Mobil Corp.
A longtime energy industry lobbyist, Fariello has steered Exxon through congressional debates over energy policy, including ending the ban on crude oil exports, a proposal that has seen its prospects brighten considerably this year. 

Bob Filippone, Merck & Co. Inc.
Filippone and has team have been pushing for intellectual property rights, an increase in government support for research and regulatory reform.

Tucker Foote, MasterCard Inc.
Data security and market access issues loom large in Foote’s advocacy portfolio this year.

Nate Gatten, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
As data breaches threaten the industry, Gatten and his team are working with members to help protect consumer data.

Matt Gelman and Fred Humphries, Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft’s expansive lobbying operation deals with issues ranging from federal procurement policy to cybersecurity.

Richard Glick, Iberdrola Renewables LLC
Glick has helped push for the renewal of wind energy production tax credits in Congress, an especially important policy for the second-largest wind power company in the U.S.

Robert Helm, General Dynamics Corp.
Helm has helped expand General Dynamics’ portfolio as the company positions itself to capitalize in growth areas including cybersecurity and space electronics.

Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Univision Communications Inc.
Coming from a K Street firm to Univision earlier this year, Herrera-Flanigan is bringing some serious firepower to the company.

Guy Hicks, Airbus Group
Hicks is in the trenches as Airbus competes with Boeing for commercial and defense aircraft market share.

Edward Hill, Bank of America Corp.
For more than a decade, Hill has served as a strong voice for the banking giant during a steady succession of financial and regulatory battles.

Joel Kaplan, Facebook Inc.
As vice president of global policy, Kaplan helps Facebook deal with privacy and policy concerns abroad.

Timothy Keating, Boeing Co.
Keating has helped lead the charge for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

Kent Knutson, The Home Depot Inc.
Knutson has put Home Depot on the map on issues such as corporate tax reform and ceiling fan regulations at the Energy Department.

William Lane, Caterpillar Inc.
Lane has been a central player in the push to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal across the finish line.

Melissa Lavinson, PG&E Corp.
Lavinson, who has lobbied for Pacific Gas & Electric since 1997, was also named the company’s chief sustainability officer in August. PG&E CEO Anthony Earley has called her “an articulate and effective advocate for all aspects of sustainability.”

Drew Maloney, Hess Corp.
Maloney leads the oil and gas company’s Washington policy initiatives, including an intensified push to lift decades-old restrictions on exporting oil.

Melissa Maxfield, Comcast Corp.
Maxfield leads a potent lobbying operation that is taking on a wide portfolio in Washington, even though U.S. regulators dashed Comcast’s hopes of merging with Time Warner Cable earlier this year.

Susan Molinari, Google Inc.
Molinari oversees government affairs at the company as it adjusts to being part of parent company Alphabet Inc., following a major corporate restructuring.

Ziad Ojakli, Ford Motor Co.
Ojakli’s tight-knit lobbying team can turn on a dime for the Fortune 500 company, which is looking to combat currency manipulation in trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Michael Paese, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Paese, a former Capitol Hill staffer and industry association lobbyist, brings experience and expertise to one of the most recognizable names in finance. 

Dean Pappas, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Pappas has long been involved in the implementation of insurance regulations, patent reform efforts, and tax treatment for life insurance and retirement plans.

Robert Rangel, Lockheed Martin Corp.
Rangel runs the strategy behind the defense giant’s Washington operation, including its massive PAC.

Joseph Seidel, Credit Suisse Group AG
Seidel heads the U.S. lobbying arm of the leading Swiss bank, which is active on tax policy and implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.

Matthew Stanton, Beam Suntory Inc.
Stanton has promoted alcohol education — with the help of celebrities like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake — in his role at the liquor marketer, recently crowned the world’s third-largest distiller.

Sarah Thorn, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Thorn looks to foster Wal-Mart’s global growth through trade policies while boosting the company’s profile through its women’s economic empowerment initiative and other programs.

Gregg Ward, United Technologies Corp.
Ward leads lobbying for the company in the U.S., as well as policy operations in China, Russia and the European Union. The shop has been busy with defense procurement and energy efficiency policies.

Jonathan Weisgall, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co.
Weisgall, the lobby chief for Warren Buffett’s multinational energy conglomerate, asked lawmakers to reform a slate of public utility requirements in May, a measure they incorporated into broader energy bills later in the summer.

This post was updated at 4:16 p.m.