Former Democratic U.S. Representative Robert Wexler just took the reins from Sylvester Lukis as the new managing partner for Ballard Partners’ Washington office. Lukis will continue to serve as a senior partner. Wexler will also continue to serve as the co-managing partner for Ballard Partners’ Tel Aviv office, which opened in April 2020. Wexler currently serves as the president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, in Washington.
Speaking on this latest appointment, firm President Brian Ballard said:
Robert’s exceptional reputation with his former Congressional colleagues and the Biden administration make him the ideal choice to lead our Washington office.
Wexler will help lead the development of Ballard Partners’ bipartisan coverage and Democratic ties.
Wexler served in Congress from 1997 to 2010, representing Florida’s 19th district in the House of Representatives. Notably, Wexler was an advisor on the Middle East and Israel issues to President Barack Obama in 2008 and was on President Obama’s reelection steering committee in 2012. Wexler was also chairman and a prominent member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. An expert on Israel issues and an advocate for U.S.- Israel relations, Wexler was reportedly in the running to be Biden’s ambassador to Israel.
This latest move is part of a series of transitions Ballard Partners has taken to build out the firm’s Democratic ties. At the start of 2021, the firm added Courtney Whitney, a former consultant of pro-Biden super PAC Priorities USA. Whitney was also the Finance Director Debbie Wasserman’s congressional campaign. In March, the firm added Eugene O’Flaherty, the former Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston and former aide to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
Ballard Partners opened its Washington office in 2017 and quickly rose to prominence because of the firm’s close ties to the Trump administration. Firm President Ballard was previously chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 big-dollar fundraising apparatus and vice chairman of the Trump inaugural committee. Since moving to the federal space, the firm became one of the top lobbying firms in 2020. In 2018, Politico magazine declared the firm as the “most powerful lobbyist in Trump’s Washington.”
Despite the change in administration, Ballard Partners expanded its business and registered 11 new clients. Its latest move towards building Democratic ties exemplifies the firm’s resilience and commitment towards covering both sides of the aisle.