WASHINGTON, D.C., January 3, 2012 – Becker & Poliakoff is proud to announce that Omar Franco, a Federal government lobbyist and head of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, has been elected president of the Hispanic Lobbyists Association (HLA).
Mr. Franco, who has been an HLA board member since 2007, will serve a one-year term as head of the national organization which provides mentoring for Hispanic youth and professionals seeking careers in government advocacy, and promotes education, professional development and bi-partisanship.
As president, Mr. Franco said he would work to increase HLA membership through improved outreach and to provide expanded opportunities for members to network with other diversity groups and associations.
A former Congressional Chief of Staff with more than 10 years of experience in Washington, D.C., Mr. Franco works with many organizations that promote advancement of Hispanics and offer Hispanics an opportunity for their voice to be heard in the Capitol and around the country.
Mr. Franco also serves on the Corporate Advisory Board of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI). He is currently a member of the Republican National Hispanic Association and the Latino Executive Advisory Panel for the Hispanic Leadership Network.
Additionally, he is the federal lobbyist for the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino. Mr. Franco also was recently awarded a U.S. Speaker and Specialist grant by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs to participate in a program on the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections and the U.S. Electoral Process in Chile and Paraguay.
Earlier this year, Mr. Franco was elected to the board of the American League of Lobbyists (ALL), the nation’s largest organization that promotes the interests of professional lobbyists. He recently completed the Lobbyist Certificate Program (LCP) by which ALL certifies that government relations professionals possess in-depth knowledge of legislative and political processes in addition to the rules, regulations and ethics that shape lobbying requirements in Washington today.
Mr. Franco began federal lobbying in 1999 when he became Director of Governmental Relations for the University of Miami’s School of Medicine. Later, as the University’s Assistant Vice President of Governmental Relations, he represented the school at both the federal and state levels. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Franco served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and managed Congressman Diaz-Balart’s Washington D.C. and district operations.
After returning to the private sector in 2007, Mr. Franco served as lead government relations consultant for many Hispanic-run companies, including Pacer Health, FalconTrust Air, Secure Wrap, Medica HealthCare Plans. He also worked on federal issues for CNL Financial Group, Vulcan, Inc., Charter Communications and Frontier Communications, among others.