unemployed lawmakers

Newly unemployed lawmakers buzzing about million-dollar lobbying jobs

by Kevin Bogardus, The Hill  |  published on January 15, 2013

A post-election scramble is underway for lucrative positions at some of Washington’s premier trade groups.

The chief executive slots come with six- and-seven figure salaries, and enter the market at a time when freshly retired lawmakers are looking for new employment. Headhunters say former members of Congress have been buzzing about the jobs — and for good reason.

Being the top dog at a prominent business group can have all the trappings of Congress: a full-time staff, juice as a D.C. insider, and the chance to be your own boss.

“Members like to be in charge. They want the CEO job,” said Julian Ha, practice leader for government affairs at the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

Some of the jobs in the mix include positions that opened up just this week, including at the American Gaming Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

Other major jobs include the top spots at the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Wind Energy Association and the Fertilizer Institute.

There is plenty of talent for the groups to choose from. More than 80 House members and senators were defeated in their election bids or retired last Congress, and many of them are eager to continue their careers in Washington.

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