Podesta Group

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The Podesta Group was established in 1988 and is a Washington based 'full service' bipartisan government relations and public affairs firm [1]

On their website, the Podesta Group advertise their services as including[2]...

Government Relations

  • Administration Strategies
  • Legislative Strategies
  • Issue Management
  • Policy Positioning
  • Corporate Responsibility Initiatives
  • Coalition Building
  • Crisis Management
  • Opposition Research
  • Political Development

Public Affairs

  • Message Development
  • Branding and Positioning
  • Crisis Communications
  • Issue Advertising
  • Media Relations and Training
  • Targeted Survey Research
  • Special Events
  • Internal and External Communications


  • Tony Podesta - According to his biography[3], Podesta's 'long-standing personal ties to Members of Congress and the public interest community distinguish him from competitors'.
  • David H Morrison - Chair of the Podesta Group’s National Security and International Policy Practice. Morrison[5] previously served as the Staff Director/Clerk of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, was the Democratic staff member on the Appropriations Committee (with responsiblity for developing legislation to fund all U.S. military activities and national foreign and defense intelligence programs), was the principal defense advisor to Defense Subcommittee Chairman Murtha and to Committee Chairman Obey and was a key advisor to Speaker Pelosi on defense and intelligence matters. Morrison also served as budget analyst with the Office of Management and Budget’s National Security Division, was Deputy Associate Director of OMB for National Security, was the chief of the National Security Division and was the President’s senior civil servant advisor on the defense budget.
  • Paul A Brathwaite - Brathwaite[6] previously served as Executive Director for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employment Standards Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor (during the Clinton Administration) and served the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel’s Honors Program (on Capitol Hill for then-Congressman Tom Carper (D-DE), Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE) and for New York Governor Mario Cuomo). In his biography, Brathwaite is descibed as having 'high-level contacts in both the House and Senate and provides strategic counsel to clients on telecommunications, health care, financial services, and transportation policy matters'.
  • Claudia James - James[8] previously served as Vice President of Government Relations and Associate General Counsel at the American Newspaper Publishers Association and was Legislative Assistant to Chris Dodd. In her biography, James is described as having 'in-depth understanding of Capitol Hill and strong ties to House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee Democrats'.
  • Michelle C Tessier - Tessier[9] was previously Press Secretary to House Republican Leader Bob Michel, was Communications Director for Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and was named one of Washington’s “Fabulous Fifty Staffers” by Roll Call.
  • John Scofield - Scofield was previously Communications Director for the House Appropriations Committee and served as a speechwriter for Senator Mark Hatfield (R-OR) and as Press Secretary for Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ). His biography describes him as having 'extensive experience in political communications' and 'having close ties to key policymakers'.
  • Lantie F Slenzak - Slenzak[16] previously served as Legislative Director for Representative Gene Green (to advance Rep. Green’s health care priorities on the House Energy and Commerce Committee), spearheaded the activities of the Congressional Vision Caucus, was Deputy Press Secretary for Senator Ernest Hollings, Legislative Assistant for Representative John Spratt and was a News Researcher and Staff Writer for Congressional Quarterly.



  • The Podesta Group was among the Washington-based PR firms listed as 'active foreign principals for Saudi Arabia' in its Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) released in January 2016. Podesta received a retainer of $200,000 from the 'The Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court' for providing 'public relations services'. It is still listed as an 'active foreign agent' on the FARA website, indicating that the contract is ongoing. [21]


In 2008, the Podesta Group list their clients as follows[22]...


Associations and Nonprofit Organizations




  • Pfizer is reported to have hired the Podesta Group in 2007[23]


  1. Podesta Group About Us Accessed 21st March 2008
  2. Podesta Group Our services Accessed 21st March 2008
  3. Podesta Group Tony Podesta accessed 21st March 2008
  4. Podesta Group Kimberley Fritts Accessed 21st March 2008
  5. Podesta Group Morrison Accessed 21st March 2008
  6. Podesta Group Brathwaite Accessed 21st March 2008
  7. Podesta Group Sharon Cohen Accessed 21st March 2008
  8. Podesta Group Claudia James Accessed 21st March 2008
  9. Podesta Group Michelle tessier Accessed 21st March 2008
  10. Podesta Group Elizabeth Morra Accessed 21st March 2008
  11. Podesta Group Marin Accessed 21st March 2008
  12. Podesta Group Ed Rothschild Accessed 21st March 2008
  13. Podesta Group Andrew Kauders Accessed 21st March 2008
  14. Podesta group Pryor Accessed 21st March 2008
  15. Podesta Group Randall Gerard Accessed 21st March 2008
  16. Podesta Group Slenzak Accessed 21st March 2008
  17. Podesta Group Donni Turner Accessed 21st March 2008
  18. Podesta Group Daniele Baierlein accessed 21st March 2008
  19. Podesta Group Courtney Hagen Accessed 21st March 2008
  20. Podesta Group Anne Marie Polak Accessed 21st March 2008
  21. Eli Clifton, Washington's Multi-million dollar Saudi PR Machine, Rightweb.IRC, 7 January 2016, accessed 19 January 2016
  22. Podesta Group Clients Accessed 21st March 2008
  23. The Centre for Responsive Ethics Lobbying-Pfizer Accessed 11th March 2008