Experienced Senate aide to bolster firm’s Commerce and Defense practices
Joseph Lai has joined BGR Government Affairs as a Vice President, where he will focus on trade and defense issues for clients.
Prior to joining BGR, Joe served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. Starting with the new President’s team in January 2017, Joe led President Trump’s outreach to the U.S. Senate on economic issues including international trade.
A highlight of Joe’s time at the White House was working with the Senate Republican leadership to develop the legislative strategy to ensure Senate passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In recent months, Joe has focused on building Senate support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as well as working with the Senate on tariff and trade policy. During his three years at the White House, Joe managed the Senate confirmation process for senior members of the President’s economic team, the Supreme Court, the Federal Reserve, key independent regulatory agencies, and Cabinet members, including the current Secretary of Defense.
Haley Barbour, BGR’s Founding Partner, commented, “Joe has earned the trust of his colleagues in the Administration as well as with Senators and their policy staff. His substantive experience working to advance pro-growth economic policies will add tremendous value to our work for clients. His unique ability to discuss the development of legislative strategy between the Senate Republican majority and the White House will provide crucial insights.”
Prior to joining the White House, Joe served in the Senate for over a decade, most recently as legislative director and military legislative assistant to Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), current chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. While working for Senator Wicker, who is also a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joe worked closely with the Pentagon and the military services, including the Air Force, Army and Navy. Joe helped lay the groundwork for Senator Wicker’s successful efforts to expand the number of amphibious warships for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Joe Lai offered, “BGR is a global powerhouse. Their team is among the most prepared and trusted advocates in Washington. I am proud to join the firm to continue my work on trade and defense issues.”
Joe also served as a policy advisor to U.S. Senators George Voinovich (R-OH) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE). In addition to his work on Capitol Hill, Joe led international trade and defense policy coordination for a major aerospace trade association. A native of Burlingame, CA, Joe received his Master of Arts from Yale University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley. He is fluent in Cantonese Chinese.
For more information/interviews contact:
Loren L. Monroe, Principal, State & Local Practice Head, BGR Government Relations