BGR Group Welcomes Hai Peng as Senior Director

BGR Group Welcomes Hai Peng as Senior Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2024) – BGR Group, Washington, D.C.’s premier bipartisan lobbying and public relations firm, announced today that Hai Peng has joined the firm as a Senior Director. Working with the International and Trade and Defense and Critical Technologies practices, he will advise clients on U.S.-China relations. Hai draws on his extensive military and civil service experience, together with his deep understanding of Chinese language, politics, and culture, to advise on global geopolitical and security issues.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hai to the BGR team,” BGR President Erskine Wells said. “Not only can he speak to the U.S.’s national security policy towards China, but he brings a unique understanding and perspective of the CCP reaction to these policy decisions. This level of knowledge and context will be invaluable to our clients.”

Prior to joining BGR Group, Hai served as Deputy Chief – China, Taiwan, Mongolia Division in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Joint Staff, J5, DD-Asia. In this position, Hai advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) in his role as the senior military advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. President by providing expert advice, information, analysis, briefings, studies, and reports on China, Taiwan and Indo-Pacific region, both within the country and in a geopolitical context. Before joining the CJCS, Hai worked as a Senior Geopolitical and Military Affairs Specialist in the Strategic Competition Branch under the Department of the Air Force. Hai’s extensive civil service experience also includes three years with the Defense Intelligence Agency at U.S. INDOPACOM.

Hai also has over eighteen years of military service. He joined the United States Army New York National Guard in March 2002 and commissioned as an Army intelligence officer through the Citadel ROTC Program in 2007. He served seven years on active duty in the U.S. Army, including one combat tour in Iraq, and as an intelligence officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). In 2014, he transitioned to the United States Army Reserves and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel.

Born in China, Hai is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He came to the U.S. at age 17 and lived in Brooklyn, NY.  He is a graduate of Columbia University holding a Master of International Affairs – International Security Policy with a focus on East Asia, and the Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, holding a Bachelor of Arts in History. Hai lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife, Kimberly Lucas.


BGR Group Remembers Those Who Served and Sacrificed for Our Country

Scott Eisner Named to the George W. Bush Institute Advisory Council

Scott Eisner Named to the George W. Bush Institute Advisory Council

Joins a unique network of experts and leaders to help inform the Bush Institute’s policy work

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2024) – Scott Eisner, a Senior Vice President with BGR’s International and Trade Practice, has been named to the George W. Bush Institute Advisory Council to help advance the Bush Institute’s policy recommendations centered on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening our democracy, and advancing free societies.

“The Advisory Council has been around in various forms since the Bush Institute’s inception to help the organization remain a leading voice on critical issues facing our nation and the world,” said David J. Kramer, Executive Director of the Bush Institute. “This consolidated council will offer guidance to help our domestic and global policy work have lasting impact and drive meaningful change in our society.”

Prior to joining BGR Group, Scott served as President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center and Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He directed the strategic activities of the USAfBC, engaging with senior-level U.S. government officials, international business leaders, and African governments. Eisner was also a former member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Trade Advisory Committee on Africa. Before joining the Chamber, Eisner had a diverse career across multiple sectors, including politics, working on Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign and his reelection to the Senate in 2004. He was also director of business development for the Kronk Boxing Gym, home to numerous world champions, including Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns and Lennox Lewis.

The Bush Institute supports democracy and freedom around the world, promotes global health, and improves the lives of women and girls. Domestically, the organization believes in a welcoming society that values and protects everyone’s right to an education and promotes a country that rewards innovation. Additionally, the Bush Institute works to reaffirm democratic principles, reassert the value of civility and civic engagement in the United States, and develop and support effective leaders to move our country forward.

The Advisory Council— made up of individuals across the business, academic, and philanthropic sectors— met earlier this year following the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Forum on Leadership. An annual landmark gathering, the Forum on Leadership develops, recognizes, and celebrates leadership by bringing together notable voices for in-depth discussions on today’s pressing issues. This year’s Forum on Leadership, titled “The Call of Freedom,” focused on freedom around the world – and why U.S. global leadership is more important now than ever.

“I am incredibly honored to have been invited to join the advisory board of the Bush Institute,” Eisner said. “With a strong commitment to foreign affairs and trade, I am deeply inspired by President Bush’s vision of promoting global economic growth and democratic governance. I am eager to contribute my expertise to further the Institute’s mission, advocating for policies that enhance international cooperation and uphold the values we all cherish. It is a great privilege to work alongside such a distinguished group of leaders dedicated to making a positive impact on the global stage.”

Scott will serve a three-year term guided by the Bush Institute’s founding principles of compassion, opportunity, accountability, and freedom.


About the George W. Bush Institute

The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Bush Institute is rooted in compassionate conservative values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day. Learn more at

As Goes Omaha, So Goes the White House?

As Goes Omaha, So Goes the White House?

By Ryan Long, BGR Group Principal

Former Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) once proposed moving the American capital to Nebraska. While that is not likely to happen anytime soon, Omaha may be the most consequential city in the 2024 election. Most people would shrug that off because it is not in one of the so-called swing states. However, the voters of Omaha may very well determine the next President.

A candidate must secure 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency. Using the Cook Political Report Presidential Ratings, President Biden currently projects to have 226 electoral votes from states ranked as likely or safe Democrat. Former President Trump currently has 219 electoral votes that are currently ranked safe or likely Republican.  Add in North Carolina that is currently rated as lean Republican and the number for President Trump jumps up to 235.

That leaves six states currently rated as toss up, totaling 79 electoral votes. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average Trump has a lead of 4.6% or higher in three of them; Georgia with a total of 16 electoral votes, Arizona with 11 and Nevada with 6. If all of those are put in the Trump column, he is now up to 268 electoral votes. Close but still shy of the needed 270.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are considered the Democrats’ historical blue wall. Despite quite a few close races before 2016, Wisconsin hadn’t voted for a Republican since 1984 while Michigan and Pennsylvania hadn’t voted for a Republican nominee since 1988. Trump beat Hilary Clinton in 2016 in all three states with margins under one percent. In 2020 those states swung back to the Democrats with Biden winning Michigan by less than three percent, Pennsylvania by less than two percent and Wisconsin by less than one percent.

On the Real Clear Politics average Trump is currently ahead in all three states but with thin margins of two percent or less in all three. A victory in any of three likely leads to a second Trump Administration.  For the sake of argument only let’s say the historical blue wall holds and votes with President Biden.  That would net him 270 electoral votes and the presidency…maybe.

Maine and Nebraska award two electoral votes to the state-wide winner and one electoral vote for the winner of each congressional seat in the state.  Cook Political Report currently rates Maine’s Second Congressional District as likely Republican.  Given that Trump won the district in 2020 by almost 7.5%, he is the prohibitive favorite to win that district again in 2024.

This is where Omaha comes in. Popular former Air Force General, four term Republican Congressman Don Bacon won renomination easily on Tuesday but the district has voted for the Democrat nominee two times in the last four presidential elections. President Obama carried the district in 2008 but it reverted back to the GOP nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. In 2016 the district went for Trump but it switched to Biden in 2020. For this exercise let’s say Nebraska reverts back to Trump in 2024. Instead of a 270 to 268 Biden electoral college victory, there would be a 269-269 tie. In the event of a tie, the House of Representatives would determine the next President based on a vote of state congressional delegations. Currently, the GOP controls 27 delegations and the Democrats control 22 with Minnesota being tied. Any vote would be taken in the new Congress, which will be sworn in in January of 2025.

The nation’s eyes turn to Omaha every June for the College Baseball World Series. Come November, all eyes could be on Omaha again if the presidential vote falls a certain way

BGR’s Dan Greenwood Addresses Aerospace & Defense Alliance of Mississippi’s 2024 Aerospace and Defense Symposium

Earlier this month, BGR Group was proud to sponsor ADAM: The Aerospace & Defense Alliance of Mississippi’s 2024 Aerospace and Defense Symposium at the University of Mississippi in partnership with the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET) ). The symposium brought together industry leaders, academic experts, and government officials focused on national security innovation. BGR Principal and Defense and Critical Technologies Practice Head, Dan Greenwood, spoke on a panel regarding the path ahead for the National Defense Authorization Act and Defense Appropriations in Congress.  Dan’s remarks focused on the NDAA legislative process, anticipated FY25 spending levels, and DOD’s focus on emerging technologies and capabilities to counter China in the INDO-PACIFIC Region. Special thanks to Mississippi Development Authority’s Chief Operating Officer PJ Waldrop for moderating Dan’s discussion.

BGR Welcomes Emma Vaughn as Vice President of Public Relations

BGR Welcomes Emma Vaughn as Vice President of Public Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 7, 2024) – BGR Group, Washington, D.C.’s premier bipartisan lobbying and public relations firm, today announced that Emma Vaughn will be joining BGR Public Relations as a Vice President.

“We are thrilled to have Emma join the BGR Public Relations team,” BGR Public Relations President Jeff Birnbaum said. “Emma’s decade of experience in strategic communications and public policy in Washington, D.C., and around the country positions her well to serve our clients and help drive successful outcomes for them.”

Emma most recently served as the Deputy Communications Director of the Republican National Committee (RNC). In that role, she oversaw the committee’s communications strategy, working closely with RNC members, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, elected officials, candidates, and journalists on the national and regional levels. Emma was previously the RNC’s National Press Secretary and chief spokesperson. In this role, she supported efforts to elect a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to her time at RNC headquarters, Emma worked in Florida as the Communications Director and the lead on-the-record spokesperson for Trump Victory, the joint operation between the presidential campaign and the RNC. She also served in several communications roles for members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio and New York. During her time as a Communications Director, she managed public relations outreach and organized and executed major public announcements and events.


The BGR Team: Driven by teamwork, focused on results.

BGR Releases May 2024 Quarterly Outlook

The 2024 elections are just six months away. In the May 2024 Quarterly Outlook, BGR’s policy experts examine the state of the political and policy landscape ahead of the national conventions later this summer. The Quarterly Outlook also includes procedural primers on the Congressional Review Act and Budget Reconciliation, as well as commentary from each of BGR’s practice groups on what’s to come in the next few months.

Read More Here


Across the Aisle: Bipartisan Perspectives, a virtual discussion between CA Attorney General Rob Bonta and TN Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti

BGR Group, Capitol Advocacy, and Stateside Associates were excited to collaborate and kickoff, “Across the Aisle: Bipartisan Perspectives,” featuring a virtual discussion between Attorney General Rob Bonta (California) and Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (Tennessee). The attorneys general showcased how bipartisan collaboration can tackle critical issues facing our nation, such as consumer protection, online safety, and organized crime.

Why Are Americans Souring On Asian Investment?

Frank Ahrens, head of BGR Analytics, examines why Americans are souring on foreign investment.

Read More Here