Paul Sweet

Job title: 
Principal, U.S. Government Relations International

Matsui Center Advisory Committee: 2014

Paul has three decades of Washington experience and active involvement in advocacy and public affairs work on behalf of state and local governments, universities, and private industry. 

He most recently worked for Mercury Public Affairs and its predecessor group, Fleishman Hillard Government Relations, and has assisted a wide cross-section of public and private sector clients ranging from large multi-national companies to entrepreneurial start-ups. He is familiar with the appropriations and tax-related processes in Congress and grants and rule-making in regulatory agencies. Paul has worked with the current Democratic leadership in Congress for two decades, and has strong relations with many committee and subcommittee leaders. 

Paul’s background in bipartisan intergovernmental relations includes working as the Field Director for the Citizens Conference on State Legislatures, working in the Washington Office of the Council of State Governments as a Legislative Director, serving as Director of the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures, consulting for the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, serving as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and consulting for the Chair of the National Governors’ Association. He served as the Intergovernmental Coordinator for the Gore-Lieberman campaign. 

He was selected to open a bi-cameral, bipartisan office of the California State Legislature in Washington and successfully increased federal funding for California state and local governments in several programmatic areas. He served as the Chief of Staff to Congressman and former Democratic Caucus chair Vic Fazio (D-West Sacramento), where he worked closely with a variety of constituent interests in Washington, including the local governments, universities, and small businesses in the district. 

The President of the University of California asked Paul to open a federal relations office in Washington as a part of a larger plan for establishing the university’s presence in the nation’s capital. In addition to providing the university with advocacy and representation, he was instrumental in establishing the university’s academic program in Washington. The University was then a $10 billion enterprise, and the largest employer in California and New Mexico. He also worked closely with the California Delegation and the California business community in the establishment of the California Institute for Federal Policy Research. 

Among the many community activities with which he is involved are the California State Society of Washington (former President and current Board member), National Conference of State Societies (former President), Golden State Roundtable (co-Chair), the Friends of the National Arboretum (Board member), and a member of the National Democratic Club.