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A Q&A Conversation With Anthony Campau and Del Chenault

April 17, 2024

Seeing a need to expand their Government and Regulatory Affairs practice group, Delbert Chenault and Anthony Campau led the creation of Clark Hill Public Strategies (CHPS) in late 2022.

Now Principals of CHPS, Chenault and Campau assist corporations, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations through the engagement of elected representatives and government agencies.

They recently discussed their backgrounds in lobbying, what clients can expect from CHPS, and what questions the group is tackling for clients currently.

What sparked the initiative to launch CHPS?

Chenault: There was an identified business need in this space providing us an opportunity to expand our practice group. We were in a position to reset our strategies on the federal and state levels from a lobbying perspective in how we approach client work and how we collaborate as professionals internally.

Developing CHPS gives us a better opportunity to be more creative in how we approach client work and how we originate and relate to clients.

How does CHPS differentiate itself from other groups in lobbying? 

Campau: We are experienced and effective “eyes and ears” for our clients at state capitols and in Washington D.C. We help them get out in front of problems and address them before they arise as well as seize opportunities and create opportunities.

We’ve worked at high levels and in the trenches of federal, state, and local government. We understand the challenges that clients face in this environment but also the opportunities that are in front of them. We now have the opportunity to be very creative and flexible in this work due to the creation of CHPS. We can leverage the strength of the Clark Hill brand, its relationships, and the network of the firm while also having the flexibility and autonomy to tackle client work and address their issues.

What do you hope CHPS can ultimately accomplish?

Chenault: First will be maintaining the growth trajectory we’ve experienced in our lobbying practice group over the last several years.

Additionally, we aim to establish the flexibility and creativity to be even more effective for clients in meeting their goals at all levels of government. This could include appropriations, passing a piece of policy legislation, or managing a regulatory change. I think the creation of CHPS is a mutually beneficial evolution for our clients and our practice group internally.

To focus on your individual careers, Anthony, what was your background with the White House?

I was chief of staff for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is a component of the Office of Management and Budget for the executive branch of government. I helped lead the regulatory side which is the central office for coordinating the development of regulatory policy across the government.

How does that background frame the work you do now?

We help to frame the needs and requests of our clients in ways that the government would normally want to receive them, with appropriate language and data. We don’t try to mislead the government into doing something it doesn’t want to do. We try to show how their objectives and our objectives are aligned.

It’s a great opportunity to help the government get to the best place on policy in a way that addresses real-world issues that clients face.

Del, how did your career transition into lobbying? 

Chenault: For me, it was a natural move after being a senior policy staffer for a former governor. Having been a problem solver inside of government, I thought I could help people and organizations effectively navigate the public sector from outside of government. It’s been very rewarding.

CHPS appears to be unique due to the fact that team members have a variety of backgrounds, how does that set your team apart?

Campau: The gist of what we do is understanding how government works and what clients need, and then helping those two sides meet in the middle to solve a problem together. That’s a very unique skill set and not one you acquire with a law degree for example. It’s something totally different. That’s why CHPS is such a great offering for clients because they have the chance to work with people who are true professionals at this.

Chenault: Our team is very diverse comprised of attorneys and non-attorneys, bipartisan state and federal lobbyists all with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. That’s compelling for clients from a value standpoint when you look at the team we’ve assembled.

What kinds of questions are clients coming to you with recently?

Chenault: At the state level, we’re seeing a transition from the last couple of years that have been dominated by spending federal aid that rolled into states, and how that funding spends down to the local level, to an environment that is now more policy-oriented around renewable energy, social justice, environmental issues, electric vehicles, healthcare, and economic development.

Campau: At the federal level, we’re now in the fourth year of the Biden administration, so there’s been a significant increase in regulatory activity to implement some of the recent statutes like the Inflation Reduction Act, but also just using the power of the government to drive policy across every domain. There’s a lot of opportunity and risk for clients, so it’s important for them to be engaged in those conversations.

How else can CHPS assist clients during what seems to be a volatile political time currently?

Chenault: Our practice group is very responsive to political changes emanating from elections. We have a team that’s able to pivot and be flexible due to the diversity and strength of our team. We’re prepared for the changes that occur in these tumultuous political times while maintaining effectiveness for clients. Creating effective political strategies regardless of the political environment is among the hallmarks and strengths of CHPS.

Campau: We focus on driving substantive outcomes. There are different types of specialized lobbyists but at CHPS we’ve developed a team with the ability to help clients dive into the details on a wide array of issues. Beneath the surface of government, there’s a lot of technical policy being made with a lot of goodwill across partisan lines. There’s a lot of serious governance going on and we play a key role in that activity.

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