Caterpillar Inc. will have a new face in Washington this week.
“Every time I’ve traveled to D.C., I’ve loved it,” said Ben Lambert, the firm’s new international advocacy manager. “I think it just has such energy that I’m excited to be a part of the feeling out there.”
Lambert has been with Caterpillar for nearly six years and begins his in new position Thursday, after working primarily from the company’s global headquarters in Peoria, Ill.
Lambert will focus on Caterpillar’s government and corporate affairs from an international perspective; he said his previous international experience growing the company led to this role.
“I worked with our global governmental affairs team to identify projects that would be beneficial to those communities,” Lambert said. “I would travel to Washington from time to time; we had a number of [nongovernmental organizations] that we worked with that were headquartered in Washington and also I worked with our governmental affairs team that was stationed in Washington.”
Lambert began his career as a journalist before working in Caterpillar’s corporate affairs division and managing the Caterpillar Foundation. He said effective communication and relationship management would continue to play an important role in his position.
“My goals are based around strengthening the relationships we already have [globally] and trying to make new ones that will benefit the company and our customers,” Lambert said.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Caterpillar has increased its lobbying spending more than 130 percent since 2010 and has spent more than $2.6 million this year, more than half of what the company spent in 2012.
“Caterpillar is a real global company, and federal laws and international regulations really directly affect our operations and financial future,” Lambert said. “[This] is why I think the government affairs team is so important to telling the Caterpillar story to those officials and those policymakers before decisions that could change the way we do business are made.”
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Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.