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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s senior national security adviser has joined Steptoe & Johnson’s Washington government relations practice. Richard Verma, who served as a policy adviser to the Nevada Democrat for the past five years, practiced in Steptoe’s international and technology groups before going to the public sector. He says leaving Reid’s office was a difficult decision. “He’s just a great boss,” Verma says of the senator. Still, Verma says, after spending the past five years on the Hill, he felt the time was right for a change. “We [the Democrats] had gotten a lot accomplished, we were in the majority, and it seemed like there was a window.” He says using that window to return to Steptoe was a “natural” choice because he never fell out of touch with his friends there. Steptoe’s Washington government affairs and public policy practice is only a year old. The firm acquired it last December, when it picked up a group of eight attorneys from Collier Shannon Scott who had broken away from the firm before its 2006 merger with Kelley Drye & Warren. Verma says it’s exciting to be a part of a practice that’s still growing. In a press release, Reid said Verma was “someone whose judgment we relied on during a pivotal time for the Senate.”
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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