|Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs|
October 7, 1999 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Andrew Fois|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Bryant|
November 11, 1963
|Alma mater||New York University School of Law
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Robert Raben (born November 11, 1963) is the founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying and consulting firm The Raben Group. The firm represents non-profit, government, and corporate clients, including the National Museum of the American Latino, the NoVo Foundation, and AirBnb. After completing his tenure as Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice under former President Bill Clinton, Raben worked as a political consultant and advisor in Washington, D.C.
In addition to having a seat on the boards of several non-profit organizations, Raben is known as a bipartisan player for progressive change in Washington after being named a top lobbyist by Washington Life Magazine, The Hill, and Washingtonian Magazine.
Early life, Education, and Career
Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Raben holds a degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York University School of Law. Shortly after law school, he clerked for the Supreme Court of Mississippi and taught Law at the University of Miami before he joined the firm Arnold & Porter as an associate specializing in international trade, federal lobbying, and white-collar criminal defense.
Raben started his career on Capitol Hill as counsel for Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA). He served in this capacity for seven years, advising him on civil rights policy and Judiciary committee issues. His committee work for Rep. Frank eventually led him to his next role as Democratic counsel for the House Judiciary Committee on the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, and for the Subcommittee on the Constitution. In conjunction with his service on the Hill, Raben taught as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.
In 1999, he was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and subsequently Assistant Attorney General under President Bill Clinton on October 7. Raben oversaw Attorney General Janet Reno’s legislative initiatives and handled extensive congressional oversight of the Department. He received unanimous confirmation vote for this position along with an endorsement from the Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican subcommittee chairs. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Raben's confirmation "[would] place a proven person in a position that is critical to the cooperation of Congress and the Executive Branch." As Assistant Attorney General under President Bill Clinton, he oversaw Attorney General Janet Reno’s legislative initiatives and handled congressional oversight of the Department. He acted as chief lobbyist and strategist on intellectual property, federalism, tort reform, and cybercrime issues.
The Raben Group, 2001-Present
In 2001, Raben formed The Raben Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying, consulting, and public affairs firm founded specializing in issues of law and public policy. The firm maintains offices in Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles. Its lobbying income in 2014 was about $4.5M and it was included in The Hill's top lobbyists in 2014, with a notation that Raben has "a reputation as a lobbyist who champions social causes."
Notable issues or clients have included:
- 2005 Free Speech Coalition, a pornography industry organization, working on issues of free speech and government regulation.
- 2009: Gun control efforts led by Michael Bloomberg
- 2013: Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, to obtain visas for Afghans and Iraqis "who were American interpreters, victims of sexual abuse, torture and members of the LGBT community facing 'life and death' situations."
- 2013 American Task Force Argentina, to assist the government of Argentina fighting effort of debt collectors
- 2014 LGBT issues
- 2015 Islamic Relief Worldwide, to "educate Washington about its programming" Israel has banned Islamic Relief, accusing it of funding Hamas.
Boards and Associations
Since 1995, Raben has chaired both the Hispanic National Bar Association's (HNBA) DC Foundation and Endorsement Committee. Additionally, he sits on the boards of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.
Raben is also “perhaps best known for hosting salon discussions at his house with well-known journalists and politicos.” He frequently hosts salon discussions at his home with prominent journalists, politicians, activists and executives.
Robert Raben has one daughter, Madeleine Raben Fenster, 23 years old.
- "About The Raben Group".
- Sunlight Foundation. Raben Group listing at Sunlight Foundation Page accessed April 4, 2015
- "The Raben Group". OpenSecrets.org. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
- Staff, The HIll. October 22, 2014. Top Lobbyists 2014: Hired Guns
- Judy Sarasohn for the Washington Post. November 17, 2005 Lobby Shop Is Over 21
- Manuel Roig-Franzia for the Washington Post August 5, 2009 A Battle of Goliaths: Michael Bloomberg and His Gun Control Group Take on the NRA
- Kevin McCauley for O'Dwyer's. May 3, 2013 Raben Group Pushes for Visas for At-Risk Afghans
- Jake Johnston for the Center for Economic and Policy Research April 26 2013 Paid to Trash Argentina, Raben Does Just That, Without Disclosing Financial Interests
- Chris Johnson for The Washington Blade. July 17, 2014 Gay-owned firm to ‘dive deep’ with new LGBT initiative
- Kevin McCauley for O'Dwyer's. Mar. 26, 2015 Raben Comes to Relief of Islamic Relief