Rich Gold is the leader of the firm's Public Policy & Regulation Group and focuses his practice at the intersection of complex policy and political issues involving Congress, the executive branch and the media. The Public Policy & Regulation Group has been ranked among the top law and lobbying firms in Washington by publications including American Lawyer's Influence Magazine, Chambers USA - America’s Leading Business Lawyers guide, Legal 500 United States guide, Financial Times and U.S. News - Best Lawyers guide. Mr. Gold has been recognized as a top lobbyist in Washington by The Hill, The National Journal, Washington SmartCEO, Super Lawyers, Washingtonian and The Washington Business Journal.
Mr. Gold served in the U.S. Senate for Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) as his advisor on environmental affairs where he worked on issues related to environmental side agreements of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). During the Clinton administration, he was a special assistant to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol Browner, with whom he helped develop the EPA's Superfund reform proposal and its administrative improvements package. Mr. Gold also served as a career lawyer in the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Office of General Counsel, working on major rulemakings as well as significant Superfund cases.
Mr. Gold approaches political and policy problems from the perspective of campaign-style advocacy – forming, developing and executing issue-advocacy campaigns that incorporate lobbying, regulatory lawyering, traditional and social media, and grassroots engagement to break through the noise in Washington and achieve client goals. Mr. Gold has engaged for individual companies, trade associations and coalitions on the issues of the day ranging from climate change legislation and regulations and Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform to trade legislation, corporate tax reform, as well as major U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reform legislation and financial services legislation. He has helped form and manage numerous coalitions that have succeeded in passing major legislation, reducing the impact of major rules on industry sectors and achieving other critical policy goals.
Touting years of experience, Mr. Gold works in a broad array of policy areas, including environmental, life sciences, financial services, tax, trade and transportation. He has achieved significant successes in representing large cities and counties before Congress and the executive branch, helping local governments to achieve their funding and policy goals in the post-earmark era in Washington. He has strong client connections in the chemical, forest and paper, auto, food and energy sectors. Mr. Gold counsels clients on issues before the EPA, FDA, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the financial regulatory agencies, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He is a politically active Democrat who is a major fundraiser for Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and at the presidential level.
Mr. Gold has been with the firm for more than 20 years, joining the firm in late 1994 after leaving the Clinton administration. He became the leader of the firm's policy group in 1999 and has grown the group into one of the top advocacy organizations in Washington. In his management role, he developed a flatter, team-based group, incorporating senior professionals with lawyers and bringing new kinds of leverage that looks and feels more like a consulting practice than the traditional law firm partner-associate model. He brought strategic public relations and crisis communications capabilities into the firm to provide a broader array of services and one-stop shopping to general counsels and vice presidents for government affairs. He moved the lobbying practice to a fixed-fee model and created an alternative fee billing arrangement that eliminated billable hours, making the practice more attractive to senior professionals without law degrees from a recruiting perspective and for clients seeking a new value proposition in their Washington counsel during challenging economic times.
Mr. Gold has worked on a broad range of crises from the environmental and transportation sectors to healthcare and local government matters. His focus in the crisis space is on congressional investigations, federal regulatory and enforcement response, and crisis communications.
As a board member of The Bryce Harlow Foundation, Mr. Gold serves to educate young people on the importance of professional advocacy and increase the understanding of its essential role in the development of sound public policy.
In recognition of Mr. Gold's energy and environmental policy expertise, he was appointed to the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 and served until 2012.