They say D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people, but K Street can be D.C. for beautiful people -- or people whose navigation of ethics rules is a sight to behold.

Candidate Obama said lobbyists wouldn’t work in his White House. President Obama said “we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.” But some lobbyists were too beautiful to exclude.

Here are our favorite 50 of the more than 100 former lobbyists who hold or have held senior policymaking jobs in the Obama administration.


  1. Michael Punke - “The Ambassador”

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Past Clients: Time Warner

You’re as likely to find Punke in Geneva as on K Street. As the former Mayer Brown lobbyist, Punke is an international man of mystery. He now serves as Obama’s deputy trade representative and permanent ambassador to the WTO.


  1. Andrew McLaughlin, “The Bad Boy”

White House Office of Technology (former)
Past clients: Google

McLaughlin brought the free-wheeling, unbuttoned attitude of Silicon Valley to Pennsylvania Avenue, where he quickly clashed with the strict by-the-books ways of D.C. The former head of Google’s lobbying shop was reprimanded for discussing policy with present Google lobbyists.


  1. Liz Fowler, “The Reformer”

Department of Health & Human Services (former)

Past Clients: WellPoint Current: Johnson & Johnson

When you think of the Affordable Care Act, you should think of Liz Fowler. The former VP for Public Policy at insurance giant Wellpoint helped write Obamacare as a top aide to Max Baucus. Then Obama’s DHS hired her up to help implement the bill. Now she runs the lobbying shop of Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson. That’s beautiful, man.

  1. Mark Patterson, “The Golden Boy”

Treasury Department

Past Clients: Goldman Sachs

Where money and politics meet, there’s Mark Patterson. Mark Patterson was a Goldman Sachs lobbyist until April, 2008. By early 2009, he was chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who was busy implementing the bailouts


  1. Michael Taylor “Good Genes”

Food & Drug Administration

Former Clients: Monsanto

We don’t know if he watches his diet, but he watches yours. Monsanto’s former top lobbyist is now Obama’s top food-safety cop.

  1. Gabriella Gomez, Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs

Past Clients: American Federation of Teachers


  1. Derek Douglas, White House (former)

    Past Employer: O’Melveny & Myers


  1. Dana Singiser, White House (former)

Past Clients: AT&T, Pfizer


  1. Islam Siddiqui, USTR

Past Clients: Croplife America

  1. Mona Sutphen, White House (former)

Past Clients: Angliss Int’l.


  1. Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture

Past Clients: National Education Association


  1. William J. Wilkins, IRS

Past Clients: Swiss Bankers Association


  1. Alan Hoffman, Office of the Vice President (former)

Past Clients: Unocal, Rand Corporation


  1. Cassandra Butts, White House

Past Employer: Center for American Progress


  1. Miriam Sapiro, USTR

Past Clients: VeriSign


  1. Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Council (former)

Past Clients: ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights

  1. Krysta Harden, Agriculture Department

Past Clients: National Barley Growers Association


  1. William J. Lynn, III, Deputy Secretary of Defense (former)

Past Clients: Raytheon


  1. Emmett Beliveau, White House

Past Clients: PriceWaterhouseCoopers


  1. Scott Harris, Energy Department (former)

Past Clients: Microsoft, Cisco, Dell

  1. Daniel Poneman, Energy Department

Past Employer: Hogan & Hartson


  1. Ron Klain, Office of the Vice President (former)

Past Clients: ImClone, Fannie Mae

  1. Demetrios Marantis, USTR

Past Clients: Lucent Technologies

  1. Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor (former)

Past Clients: Fannie Mae


  1. Steve Ricchetti, Office of the Vice President

Past Clients: American Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, American Council of Life Insurers


  1. Jon Liebowitz, Federal Trade Commission (former)

Past Clients: Motion Picture Association of America

  1. Michael Strautmanis, White House

Past Clients: Association of Trial Lawyers of America


  1. Patrick Gaspard, Ambassador to South Africa

Past Clients: SEIU

  1. David Hayes, Interior Department

Past Clients: Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Sprint

  1. Eric Hirschhorn, Department of Commerce;

Past Clients: Lockheed Martin, Sun Chemicals

  1. Sean Kennedy, White House (former)

Past Clients: AT&T


  1. Eric Holder, Attorney General;

Past Employer/Clients: Covington & Burling/Large Scale Biology Corporation.


  1. Robert Litt, Office of the Director of National Intelligence;

Past Clients: Recording Industry Association of America

  1. Elisa Montoya, Office of Personnel Management

Past Clients: Corrections Corporation of America, Johnson & Johnson

  1. Cecilia Munoz, White House

National Council of La Raza

  1. Paul Nash, FDIC (former)

Past Clients: Verizon

  1. Leon Panetta, DOD, CIA (former)

Past Employer: Cassidy & Associates

  1. Melanie Sabo, Federal Trade Commission (former)

Past Clients: K&L Gates, Delta Airlines

  1. William Schultz, Health & Human Services

Past Clients: Barr Laboratories

  1. Susan Sher, Office of the First Lady (former)

Past Clients: University of Chicago Hospitals

  1. Thomas Strickland, Interior Department (former)

Past Clients: Hogan & Hartson, Amgen.

  1. Robert Sussman, EPA

Past Clients: Amphar Pharmaceuticals

  1. Charles Bolden, DOJ

Past Clients: Occidental Petroleum

  1. Christine Varney, DOJ (former)

Past Employer: Hogan & Hartson

  1. Richard Verma, State Department (former)

Past Clients: Cigna

  1. Thomas Zoelle, National Transportation Safety Board

Past Clients: National Air Carrier Association

  1. Mark Berejka, Department of Commerce (former)

Past Clients: Microsoft



  1. Anne Brewer, White House (former)

Past Clients: Boeing


  1. Brandon Hurlbut - Energy Department (former)

Past Clients: Wellpoint


  1. Emily Burlij, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (former)

Past Employer: Cassidy & Associates



Joel Gehrke and Jack Butler contributed to this post.