The lure of working for the new GOP majority in Congress is creating some choice lobbyist openings. The Advanced Medical Technology Association lost its lobbyist Brett Loper, who is returning to Capitol Hill to become policy director for Speaker-designate John Boehner(R-Ohio). Time Warner lobbyist Tim Berry also is leaving to become chief of staff to Majority Whip-designate Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Other groups have had vacancies on their Washington teams for months, including Toyota, whose top lobbyist, Josephine Cooper, left Oct. 1. The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has been without a permanent CEO since Kathleen Jaeger left this summer. The generic drug group has delayed filling the top job as it undergoes a reorganization and tries to patch up relations with the generic drug giant Teva that recently left the association.
While trade associations are under pressure to fill top spots before the new Congress convenes next month, some concede they may have to manage without new leadership for the time being.
Wade Newton, the spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the group is already preparing to focus on possible auto safety legislation and fuel efficiency measures in the new session. The association, which represents foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers, has not announced a timetable for picking a new chief. John Whatley, the vice president and general counsel, has been named as interim CEO.
“Whether you have a CEO or not, you have big issues you are still messaging,” Newton said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.