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The Political Life - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. A show about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

Hosted by Jim O'Brien, The Political Life introduces you to the personalities and "day in the life" experiences of some of the most interesting and dynamic individuals in the field. 

Oct 21, 2022

This week Jim welcomes Leif Johnson to the pod to discuss his experience in public affairs as well as some of his interesting endeavors from the past.

Leif Johnson provides strategic counsel and serves as a solutions provider for corporations and trade associations to enhance their state government relations efforts throughout the country. In 2003, he opened the Leonine Washington, D.C., Office and branded the 50-state government affairs practice, FOCUS. He oversees the coalition & association management practice area along with the state government affairs and legislative/regulatory tracking division. Leif also assumed the role of CEO and Managing Director of The Advocacy Group in 2012. 

Previously, he was director of government relations and contracts, and director of corporate communications for West Publishing-Thomson Reuters, in Minnesota. At West, Leif helped create a nationwide lobbying network in all 50 states. He managed West’s state and federal government relations and lobbying efforts, guided passage of database protection legislation in the House of Representatives and served as spokesperson for crisis communications events. At Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, Leif was a public relations manager and directed the commercial line of business public relations and reputation management initiatives. He also served as a legislative assistant and director of correspondence to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a legislative aide to Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, and led a congressional campaign in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Leif was also a high school social studies teacher and a tennis pro at Hazeltine National Golf & Tennis Club.

He was president of the Washington Area State Relations Group (WASRG), a trade association of government affairs executives and professionals, in 2009-2010. Leif graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and holds a Master of Public Policy from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. 

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