Hai Feng Peng

Hai Peng is a Senior Director at BGR Group where he advises 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.

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.

Tristan Whitaker

Tristan Whitaker is a Policy Analyst for BGR Group’s Defense and Critical Technologies Practice. In this role, he provides research and analysis for clients on national security, space, cybersecurity, and defense issues.

Tristan joined BGR in 2022 after serving as a research clerk, where he supported the firm through hearing coverage, legislative and regulatory research, and briefing memos. Previously, Tristan worked as a Research Assistant at American University, where assisted faculty with research on transnational issues in the Middle East and Horn of Africa.

Tristan received a Master’s Degree from American University’s School of International Service, where he studied U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security. He graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State University with a degree in History and International Security and Conflict Resolution.

David J. Urban

David J. Urban is a Managing Director at BGR Group. He has more than three decades of experience in the military, law, business, politics and public service sectors. David provides strategic advice and counsel to BGR clients throughout the firm.

Prior to joining BGR, David served as Executive Vice President of North American Corporate Affairs for ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. In this senior role, he worked alongside the company’s top leadership, helping them navigate public policy and communications challenges, as well as advising on Environmental, Social, and Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility issues.

As President of the American Continental Group (ACG) he provided high stakes counsel to key clients including the CEO of Zoom during the early tumultuous days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CEO of 7-Eleven to help the company adapt to a rapidly changing regulatory environment. 

Before joining ACG, David served as Chief of Staff to the former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania for five years. In this role, David was the Senator’s senior advisor on all legislative, political, media and administrative matters in Pennsylvania and Washington.

David was appointed by former President Donald Trump to serve as the 11th Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission. He was also appointed by the President to the Board of Visitors (Trustees) for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

A graduate of West Point, David served as an artillery officer in the 101st Airborne Division where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during Operation Desert Storm. He earned a law degree from Temple University and a Master’s in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed an ESG certification program through the Said School of Business at Oxford University and the Stratfor certification program in geopolitical analysis at the Florida Atlantic University. He served as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Government. An active member of the Pennsylvania Bar, David is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Dan Greenwood

Dan Greenwood is the Head of BGR’s Defense and Critical Technologies Practice where he advises clients and advocates on national security, homeland security, space, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies. His wide-ranging government relations and national security expertise includes key roles at the White House, the National Security Council, and a long, distinguished U.S. military career.

Prior to joining BGR, Dan served as Deputy Assistant to the President and the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs in the West Wing. In this role, he coordinated and executed the administration’s legislative strategy in the U.S. Congress while working with the White House policy councils and broader Executive Branch to ensure integrated priorities. Before serving as Deputy Assistant to the President, Dan was the Senior Director for Legislative Affairs at the National Security Council. He worked closely with House and Senate majority and minority committee members and staff on national security and homeland security issues, disaster relief, energy, cyber security, and regional security strategies.

Dan also served three years as the Marine Corps’ Head of Congressional Affairs in the House of Representatives. He was responsible for all service advocacy and helped achieve congressional support for many unfunded service priorities and led international bipartisan congressional delegations (CODELs) for the Speaker, Majority Leader, and numerous committee chairman across the world.

Dan’s 29-year active duty military career included several pivotal national security policy positions focused on Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Most recently, he led the Marine Corps’ efforts in realigning Indo-Pacific service posture and strategy. He previously led the Joint Staff (J-5) Middle East Directorate Iraq and Syria planning teams. Dan commanded Marine Corps units at every rank from Second Lieutenant to Colonel to include multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. As a Colonel, he commanded the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF) during operations in Libya, Somalia, and at high risk/high threat U.S. Embassies in Africa.

Dan is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was a Distinguished Graduate at the National War College earning a M.S. in National Security Strategy; he also earned Masters of Operational Studies and Masters of Military Studies degrees from the Marine Corps University Command & Staff College and the School of Advanced Warfighting.

Joel D. Bailey

Joel Bailey, Vice President, started at BGR in September 2021.  Joel works with clients on crafting political, engagement, and policy strategies to achieve their goals. In this role, he regularly represents client interests on Capitol Hill and within the Administration. 

Prior to joining BGR, Joel served for over a decade on Capitol Hill in several Congressional offices. Most recently, Joel served as Chief of Staff to House Committee on Ways and Means Member, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.). There, he managed the Congressman’s political, policy, and whip operations. Before serving as Mr. Panetta’s Chief of Staff, Joel represented the hospitality industry to Congressional Democratic offices as a lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

Earlier in his career, Joel worked for a number of House Members who served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce primarily focusing on health policy. During this time, Joel worked on the formulation and passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA IV and V), and the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act. 

In each of these roles, Joel regularly worked with Member of Congress, staff, Congressional leadership, and allied outside entities to build coalitions, formulate policy, and execute on strategies to achieve his Members’ or clients’ goals. 

Douglas Lute

Ambassador Douglas Lute (Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Retired) is Chair of BGR’s International and Trade and Defense and Critical Technologies Practices and works with the Advisory Services team. Over his long, distinguished career in the U.S. military and as a senior White House advisor and diplomat, Ambassador Lute has built extensive relationships with national security, diplomatic and military leaders in America and around the world.

Ambassador Lute’s familiarity with American foreign policy and today’s policymakers gives him unique insight into Washington’s approach to international security and America’s relationships with its allies and partners.

He served six years in the White House during two administrations, first under President George W. Bush as Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan from 2007 to 2009. He was the senior-most White House official retained by President Obama, serving first as Coordinator for South Asia and then during the second Obama-Biden term as U.S. Ambassador to NATO.

Ambassador Lute graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and is a decorated military officer of 35 years. He was Director of Operations on the Joint Staff overseeing U.S. military operations worldwide. He also was Director of Operations at U.S. Central Command in the Middle East, had several tours as a NATO commander, and served in combat during Operation Desert Storm.

Ambassador Lute earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University in 1983 and then taught in the U.S. Military Academy’s Department of Social Sciences. He is a member of the board of the Atlantic Council, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a charter member of the Senior Military Advisory Group of the United States Institute of Peace, and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Erskine Wells

Erskine Wells is the President of BGR Group. He joined BGR in 2011 after serving on Capitol Hill for more than a decade. At BGR, Erskine represents clients with interests in defense, telecommunications, transportation, financial services, and appropriations before Congress, the administration, and state and local governments.

Erskine also has extensive experience leading coalitions in Washington. Working with Fortune 50 firm Caterpillar, he was instrumental in the successful launch of the Alliance for American Competitiveness and served as its Executive Director. Collaborating closely with Alliance members Honeywell, Dow, BNSF and UPS, Erskine led efforts to improve freight infrastructure throughout the United States by engaging policy makers at the local, state and federal levels. Through his efforts, the Alliance briefed the White House, Senate and House of Representatives on the role infrastructure plays in economic competitiveness.

Erskine works closely with clients ranging from wireless and hardware manufacturers to national security manufacturers and global shipping companies. Erskine is known as a substantive policy expert with connections throughout government, who quietly delivers results for his clients.  

Prior to joining BGR, Erskine served in the office of Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) in various capacities, including deputy chief of staff and military legislative assistant. Earlier, Erskine managed appropriations accounts for then-Rep. Roger Wicker’s office in the House of Representatives. In these positions, Erskine advised the Senator and Congressman on national security, defense, foreign policy, transportation, financial services and telecommunications, working closely with Committee staff and Administration officials.

During his time on the Hill, Erskine collaborated with the intelligence community and Congressional committees to create and fund the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies at the University of Mississippi, which prepares students for careers in intelligence analysis.

A graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina, Erskine earned his master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He lives in Northern Virginia.

Pete Landrum

Pete Landrum joined the team at BGR in 2017. He works on the BGR Defense and Critical Technologies, Commerce and Infrastructure, and Financial Services practices. Pete enjoys pairing outstanding defense technologies with existing capability gaps in the Department of Defense. To accomplish that task, he aggressively works both the defense authorization and appropriations process. 

Critical minerals and materials and rural manufacturing are also one of Pete’s specialties. Prior to joining BGR, he served as U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions’ Senior Defense Policy Advisor from 2007-2017.  During that period, he worked on Senate Armed Services Committee issues to include 10 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) cycles. Pete also worked on Senate Appropriations Committee-Defense issues to provide funding to accompany the policy initiatives of the NDAA.  

Prior to working in the Senate, Pete spent 31 years in the U.S. military. He worked in post-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa on emerging national issues. Pete also worked with new democracies in Eastern Europe. These countries were newly freed from the domination of the Soviet Union and were anxious to succeed. Additionally, Pete trained and worked with allies in the Middle East. Pete brings his global experience to serve BGR clients in Washington.

Joseph Lai

Joseph Lai is a Principal with BGR Group. He has deep experience in navigating the Washington D.C. policymaking process. After serving as a key advisor to three U.S. senators and as a senior member of the White House legislative affairs team, Joe joined BGR in 2019 to help clients communicate more effectively with policymakers and get results that count.

With a broad portfolio spanning international commerce and financial services to defense and critical technologies, Joe understands how political and regulatory risk in Washington can affect a company’s operations and strategic investments. As a trusted partner to his U.S. and multinational clients, he puts his knowledge and skills to work designing and executing integrated legislative, communications, and political strategies to mitigate those risks.

Joe served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs from 2017 to 2019. In that capacity, he led the White House’s outreach to the Senate on economic issues including international trade and financial services matters. Joe worked with Senate leaders to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and to confirm multiple appointees to the Cabinet, the Federal Reserve, and the Supreme Court.

Prior to joining the White House, Joe worked in the U.S. Senate for over a decade including serving as defense policy advisor and later legislative director to Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee. Joe also served as a policy advisor to Senators George Voinovich of Ohio and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. In the private sector, Joe led international trade and defense policy coordination at the Aerospace Industries Association where he oversaw major international transactions for leading U.S. aerospace and defense companies.

A native of Burlingame, California, Joe received his Master of Arts from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Joe is a regent of the Fund for American Studies and a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is fluent in Cantonese Chinese.