Lobbying World: Former Rep. Comstock launches fintech group

Greg Nash

Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) will lead the American Consumer & Investor Institute, a newly-launched nonprofit focused on expanding access to financial technology platforms. The group’s formation comes as federal regulators aim to boost oversight of fintech and crypto companies, which don’t face the same level of scrutiny as banks. Comstock, who is a senior adviser at Baker Donelson, chaired the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s research and technology panel while in Congress.

Deborah Rowe, a longtime aide to former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), joined the Alpine Group as a policy director. Rowe joined Hoyer’s office in 2014 and most recently served as a senior adviser to the Maryland Democrat. 

Stacy McBride joined Husch Blackwell Strategies as a principal in its D.C. office. McBride previously served as chief of staff to former Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and staff director of Blunt’s Senate Rules Committee.

Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams joined Rewiring America as senior counsel, where she will help lead the nonprofit’s push to connect communities to clean energy incentives and jobs created by the Inflation Reduction Act. Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader and a prominent critic of voter suppression, ran two unsuccessful campaigns for governor.

Robert Zirkelbach rejoined the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America as executive vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives. Zirkelbach, a former House GOP aide, was a top executive at PhRMA from 2014 to 2020 before leaving for ExxonMobil. The leading industry lobbying group parted ways with some of its top Democratic lobbyists after Democrats included drug pricing reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act, dealing drugmakers their first major defeat in decades.

David Cleary, former principal adviser to former Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), joined DLA Piper as a senior policy adviser in the firm’s health policy practice. Burr, who chaired the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined the firm last month.

Lisa Malloy joined British defense contractor BAE Systems as senior vice president for communications. Malloy spent nearly 14 years at Intel Corp., most recently leading the company’s global government and manufacturing communications.

The Public Affairs Council promoted Kristin Brackemyre to senior director of its public affairs practice and Victoria Ellington to senior manager of political engagement. Brackemyre previously led PAC and government relations for the group, while Ellington was a PAC and grassroots manager.

Lobbying World documents the top lobbying hires in the nation’s capital every week. Send tips to Karl at kevers@thehill.com.

Tags Barbara Comstock hires K Street lobbying Richard Burr Roy Blunt Stacey Abrams Steny Hoyer

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