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Sonnenschein Goes Global, and Democratic, Again In its second internationally-focused hire in a week, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has brought on Gabriel Guerra-Mondrag�n, former U.S. ambassador to Chile, to bolster its nascent Global Services practice. Previously Guerra-Mondrag�n served as a career diplomat and as president of TKC International, a business and trade consulting firm. He will hold the title of senior advisor Sonnenschein. Guerra-Mondrag�n is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is active in the Puerto Rico community, serving as chairman of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. He is also active in Democratic politics, appearing on a list of prominent diplomats supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. (He’s listed among the $100,000 “Hillraisers” who have helped bundle contributions for the campaign). “Gabriel is a premier diplomat and businessman who has spent decades building a network of relationships throughout the United States and Latin America,” said Mike McNamara, chair of Sonnenschein’s Public Law & Policy Strategies Group in a statement. “His vast knowledge and understanding of the political and economic landscape in Latin America is a tremendous benefit for our clients.” Guerra-Mondrag�n will be working with Fontheim International, which relocated to Sonnenschein’s office recently as part of a strategic alliance announced by McNamara. Its founder, Claude Fontheim, is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council’s Project on the New Global Economy. According to McNamara, while Fontheim’s staff of attorneys, lobbyists, and policy analysts will remain independent, Fontheim himself will become a partner at Sonnenschein. The firms intend to share clients, with Fontheim providing trade and corporate governance expertise and Sonnenschein and, in some cases, jointly pursue contracts. — Jeff Horwitz
Livingston Hires Former Head of ACLU Washington Office Laura Murphy, the former director of the Washington National Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, will become a consultant for the Livingston Group, the firm announced last week. The press release touting Murphy’s hire terms it a move that will enhance “the firm’s bipartisan credentials,” something the Republican-leaning firm has devoted more energy to as of late. Recently, Livingston announced the firm’s first two Democratic partners, former Congressman Dennis Hertel and Lauri Fitz-Pegado, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce in the Clinton Administration. The firm was founded eight years ago by former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.). Murphy was the first woman and first African-American to lead the ACLU’s Washington office and lobbied on behalf of the ACLU before stepping down two years ago, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family. — Carrie Levine
MBA Boss Leaves, Everyone Else Promoted Kurt Pfotenhauer, the top official of the Mortgage Bankers Association, is trading in his current title to become the CEO of the American Land Title Association. The hire of Pfotenhauer, credited with building up the lobbying capacity of the MBA, is meant to spur the ALTA’s growth, said Gary Kermott, the group’s president, in a statement last week. Pfotenhauer, who was previously chief of staff to Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), and a public affairs executive for United Parcel Service, starts his new job in early January. Both Pfotenhauer’s old and new associations play in the real estate field, but there’s a pretty big difference between the two in terms of lobbying dollars. The ALTA’s lobbying expenditures are only a small fraction of the $2.7 million the MBA spent last year; an ALTA spokeswoman couldn’t be immediately reached to discuss whether that would soon change. The MBA, meanwhile appointed Steven O’Connor, its former Senior Vice President of Public Policy, to fill Pfotenhauer’s old slot, and advanced Erick Gustafson, previously Pfotenhauer’s deputy, to senior vice president, charging him with overseeing MBA’s PAC, grassroots, and state legislative affairs. Other lobbyists getting new titles at the MBA include Francis Creighton, Paul Richman, Josh Denney, Paul Hilliar, Sheryl Pardo, and Meghan Sullivan. — Jeff Horwitz

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