Veteran Capitol Hill Strategist Ryan Bernstein To Join McGuireWoods Consulting in Washington

April 2, 2018

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Chief of Staff for Sen. John Hoeven Also Was Top Aide to N.D. Governors

Ryan Bernstein, a respected Republican strategist and chief of staff to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, will bring nearly two decades of senior government and political experience to McGuireWoods Consulting’s acclaimed Federal Government Relations Practice.

Bernstein will become a senior vice president in MWC’s Washington, D.C., office, assisting clients with matters before Congress, regulatory agencies and the executive branch. He will focus on agriculture and energy industry clients, said Frank Donatelli, executive vice president and director of federal public affairs.

Bernstein played key roles in drafting farm bills and important oil and gas, water rights, federal land transfer, budget appropriations and Native American affairs legislation as the adviser to Hoeven, chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and a member of the Agriculture, Appropriations and Energy committees. Bernstein was instrumental in writing the 2015 Keystone XL Pipeline bill.

“The portfolio, the skills and the contacts Ryan brings to McGuireWoods Consulting are a rare and valuable combination, and we’re thrilled to offer them to our clients,” said Mark Bowles, chairman of McGuireWoods Consulting.

Jim Hodges, MWC’s president and CEO and the former governor of South Carolina, called Bernstein an excellent addition to “our growing and talented federal team. Ryan brings extensive knowledge of federal and state government issues, and an ability to help clients on energy and agriculture issues at all levels of government.”

Bernstein has overseen Hoeven’s 30-person Senate staff in Washington and North Dakota since 2012 and served for more than 1½ years as deputy chief of staff before that. In Bismarck, he was a senior adviser to three North Dakota governors – Jack Dalrymple, Hoeven and Ed Schafer – from 2000 through 2010 in roles that included policy analyst and chief legal counsel. He helped Hoeven win re-election to a second Senate term with 79 percent of the vote in 2016.

“Ryan is considered one of the best on Capitol Hill and in North Dakota because he not only understands government and politics, he understands business and people. That’s why he’s perfect for McGuireWoods Consulting and our clients,” Donatelli said.

Bernstein earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from North Dakota State University and his J.D. from the University of North Dakota Law School. He clerked for the North Dakota Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court in Bismarck and is admitted to the bar in North Dakota.

His arrival at MWC closely follows that of another highly regarded Capitol Hill pro, Paul Reagan, a senior vice president and director of federal government relations. Reagan served as chief of staff to former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, both Virginia Democrats.

“McGuireWoods Consulting is known and respected all over Washington and out in the state capitols for helping clients achieve their business goals and for doing it with integrity and class,” Bernstein said.

Recognized in the National Law Journal’s “Influence 50” as one of the top 15 U.S. lobbying firms, McGuireWoods Consulting is the public affairs arm of McGuireWoods LLP, leading national law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 23 offices worldwide. Together, the law firm and McGuireWoods Consulting provide clients with one-stop legal and public policy solutions recognized among the most innovative for the past two years by the Financial Times’  North America Innovative Lawyers report.