Omar Franco heads Becker’s Federal Lobbying Practice in Washington, D.C. He currently represents a wide variety of clients including Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, higher education institutions, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments. In 2020, Franco was named a “Top Lobbyist” by the National Institute of Lobbying & Ethics (NILE). He has also been recognized as a “Hired Gun” in The Hill’s annual list of Top Lobbyists since 2018.
Omar began federal lobbying in 1999 when he became Director of Governmental Relations for the University of Miami’s School of Medicine. In 2001, University of Miami President Donna Shalala promoted him to Assistant Vice President of Governmental Relations, where he represented the university at both the federal and state levels of government and primarily worked on appropriations and health care issues.
In 2003, Omar was named Chief of Staff for Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). Omar held this position for over four years, managing the Congressman’s Washington D.C., and district operations and closely counseling the Congressman in his areas of expertise which include federal appropriations, health care, transportation, higher education and issues dealing with Hispanics and the state of Florida. During his tenure, Omar was granted Top Secret security clearance by the U.S. Department of Defense and assisted in founding the Congressional Hispanic Conference and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.
In 2007, Omar joined Petrizzo Strategic Group where he was the lead government relations consultant for a tribal government, a pharmaceutical company, a state university, health care plans, and the several municipalities. He also worked on federal issues for CNL Financial Group, Vulcan Inc., Charter Communications and Frontier Communications, among others.
Omar founded Franco Government Relations in 2010 where he represented a tribal government, a state university and several municipalities, including the City of Hialeah which he continues to represent to this day.
Omar began his government service in 1993 as the District Legislative Assistant for Florida State Representatives Art Simon (Democrat) and Annie Betancourt (Democrat) and then Florida State Senator Mario Diaz-Balart (Republican). He also worked as a Field Office Director for the Florida Medical Association before joining the University of Miami.
- Top Lobbyist, National Institute of Lobbying & Ethics (NILE), 2020
- Hired Gun, The Hill’s Annual List of Top Lobbyists, 2018 – present
PROFESSIONAL / COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- Omar works with many Hispanic organizations that promote diversity and look to offer a voice to Hispanics in Washington, DC and the country. Omar served on the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Lobbyist Association (HLA) where he is a past President and former Treasurer. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI). Because of his fluency in Spanish, he was 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 and then again in 2016 to discuss the U.S. Presidential Elections in Chile. Because of his work on numerous Hispanic issues, he was named by Latino magazine as a Power Player for 2013. Omar was nominated by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to serve on the advisory committee of the U.S. Senate Republican Task Force on Hispanic Affairs and in 2019, was appointed to the Chairman’s Advisory Council of Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, an advocacy group that strives to create a museum highlighting the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience.
- Named Secretary of the Board of Directors for The Latino Coalition (2019)
- Member of the National Board of Trustees for the League of Minority Voters
- Completed the American League of Lobbyists’ Lobbyist Certificate Program (2011)