For more than 20 years, Jim has advised leading corporations, financial services firms, venture capitalists and non-profits on policy, regulatory and communications issues. He has led studies on a range of issues from climate change to education policy, data privacy, and children's nutrition. He is also a co-founder of Business Forward, a trade group dedicated to building business support for public policies that promote America's economic competitiveness. With the support of more than 50 Fortune 500 companies, Business Forward operates in more than 100 cities and works with more than 450 mayors, governors, Members of Congress, and Administration officials.
Prior to starting Portico, Jim served as a senior vice president of PSB Associates, a research and strategic communications firm, and as a as Managing Director of Civitas Group, a bipartisan advisory services firm specializing in critical infrastructure protection and national security. Jim served as senior policy advisor and deputy chief of staff to Commerce Secretary William Daley, where he focused on technology and economic policy, and on the communications and research teams of Clinton/Gore 1996. Prior to joining the Clinton re-election campaign, Jim practiced law in the DC offices of Hogan & Hartson LLP. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School. Jim lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and two children.
Bert has a decade of experience building and running successful organizations and initiatives across academia, the private sector and the federal government. He currently works with investors, entrepreneurs and early-stage companies on positioning and growth strategies. From 2013 to early 2016, Bert served as a Senior Adviser in Secretary Penny Pritzker's office at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he helped to lead Secretary Pritzker's strategic engagement with the business community domestically and internationally. He also served as the inaugural director of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative, working across the White House, the Commerce and State Departments, USAID, SBA and NASA to deploy 17 of America's most respected business creators throughout the country and around the world to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Bert served as Executive Director of Business Forward. With the support of more than 50 Fortune 500 companies, Business Forward operates in more than 100 cities and works with more than 450 mayors, governors, Members of Congress, and Administration officials.
Bert also helped start and is on the board of Press Pass Mentors, an educational non-profit where professional journalists from The Washington Post mentor inner-city high school students to prepare them for college.
Prior to Business Forward, Bert clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James Brady. As a law student, Bert helped create the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics & Media (IJPM), a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary center that produces scholarship on the interaction between courts, politics, and the press. Before law school, he worked for CNN in Washington, DC, and London. He has a B.A., M.S., and J.D. from Syracuse University. He is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia and lives in Palo Alto, California.
Liz serves as Director of Research at Portico. She represents clients in the high tech, manufacturing, and media sectors.
She also serves as Director of Operations for Business Forward. Prior to joining Portico, Liz served as Program Analyst for a boutique defense contractor, providing support to the development and implementation of national security programs through analysis of strategic plans and improved initiatives. Previously, Liz has worked for The Aspen Institute’s Communications and Society Program and for the New York City based video production company Animoto Productions. She holds a BA in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies with a concentration in Immigration and Hispanic Studies from Dartmouth College.
Jelani is a Project Manager at Portico, where she represents clients in the manufacturing and media sectors. She also serves as a fellow for Business Forward. Prior to joining Portico, Jelani served as an intern at the White House Office of Public Engagement, where she focused on African American outreach. Previously, her work focused on journalism, communications, and non-profit media. She holds a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania.