Wexler, Robert - from United States
Country of meeting: in the year 2011
Influential Democratic political consultant, public policy advisor and later, the first woman to head a leading lobbying firm in Washington.
In the 60s, Wexler began her political career by serving on the Westport Zoning Board of Appeals and by helping John Fitzgerald organize a Congressional campaign against the pro-Vietnam war Democrat incumbent Donald J. Irwin. She organized the Connecticut effort for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign, and served on the rules committee at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where she was the primary author of the committee's minority report, whose recommendations on reforms in choosing delegates were later accepted.
Described by The Washington Post as "the first woman to own a lobbying firm", she later recalled her entry into a field that "was completely male dominated". She ensured that the firm had a bipartisan base, bringing in Ronald Reagan friend Nancy Clark Reynolds and hired former Republican Congressman (and Newt Gingrich ally) Robert Smith Walker of Pennsylvania after he left office in 1997.
The firm's clients included General Motors and the Government of Australia, which honored her as an Officer of the Order of Australia for her meritorious service. Her firm was acquired by Hill & Knowlton in 1990, within which it operated independently.
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