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Marty Russo  

Top Lobbyist, Member of Congress from Chicago, Illinois (1975-1992), and American-Australian Foundation Leader

Former Congressman Marty Russo draws on a long career in public office and as a top federal lobbyist to provide strategic counsel to clients who want to have a stronger impact in Washington.

A passionate believer in the First Amendment right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” he believes that the best lobbyist is one who gets involved and presents public officials with credible, relevant information that encompasses all sides of an issue.

As a nine term veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-IL), Russo has walked in the shoes of an elected official who must tackle tough public policy issues while still answering to constituents back home.

This viewpoint guides his advice on how to have more influence in Washington. He believes in being active—get involved early and make sure your voice is heard. That’s what he has done for constituents and clients since he was first elected to Congress at the age of 30 in the Watergate class of 1974.

Russo served as CEO of one of Washington’s largest and most prestigious government relations firm and in his eighteen years of service he counseled hundreds of clients.

He serves as a Secretary of the American-Australian Leadership Dialogue, on the Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council (CFLC) of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, and on the Advisory Board of the Leadership Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

A native of Chicago, Russo received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University.


Speech Topics

Legislative Hill Day

Most associations hold an annual legislative conference to address important policy initiatives in Washington. Do you want your attendees fired up and ready to go before you send them to storm the Hill? Former Congressman Marty Russo is a dynamic speaker who will inspire your members to head for the Hill with confidence and excitement. Drawing from his years in Congress and as a top lobbyist, Russo lays out the roadmap. Why should you care about what happens in Washington? What are the specific ways to get involved and actually make a difference? What happens in a meeting with a Member of Congress? How does a Member of Congress think? What is the role of congressional staff? How do you deliver your message with maximum impact? How do you follow up? The “right to petition the government for a redress of grievances” is not just a tagline carved on the seven-story edifice of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is a vital First Amendment right of all Americans to tell the public officials how the government can and should work better. Getting your association membership engaged in advocacy issues has an exponential impact. The power of people speaking up in person far outweighs emails or form letters. To tap into the power of your members, Former Congressman Russo is also a great keynote speaker for any event that sets the stage to inspire your members to get involved in advocacy and sign up for the next Hill Day.

Current Politics, Influence and the Art of the Deal

Former Congressman Marty Russo gives his unfiltered “no holds barred” insider views on what’s really happening in US politics and what it will take to get the government working again. With a tumultuous 2016 Presidential Election and a new dynamic emerging on Capitol Hill, are we on the cusp of a messy, but productive era where divided government can actually work, and legislation will start moving on important policy areas? Or will we fall further into paralyzing partisan dysfunction? Today, the neon road signs are flashing to signal an upcoming rush of political transitions. A new President and new Congress guarantee a new game in town. As a former Member of Congress and top lobbyist, Russo covers current politics with an emphasis on how organizations can navigate the Washington maze and make progress toward specific policy and advocacy outcomes. What’s the secret to developing influence in the new Washington? How do you position your interests to be ready for abrupt changes in power? And how can you support your champions to make deals that help your industry and strengthen America’s future.

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