David Castagnetti is a legislative and political strategist with a history of delivering for clients. A trusted Democratic advisor who understands how to talk to business, David has played a critical role in shaping some of the most significant policy issues of the past two decades.
Recognized as one of Washington’s top lobbyists by BusinessWeek, Washingtonian Magazine, The Hill and CQ, David’s policy expertise and political chops are well-known. His forte is translating complex policies into straightforward issues, then navigating the political, legislative, and regulatory challenges that dictate outcomes. Additionally, David’s working style is as well-known as his expertise. A strong believer in “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” client service, David has instilled that same approach as a co-founder of Mehlman Castagnetti, where every principal rolls up their sleeves to deliver for their clients. It is this combination of skill and working style that has made David a trusted advisor to Members of Congress, Fortune 100 CEOs, and executives across Washington’s business community.
David’s career has placed him at the highest levels of politics, business, and Congress. Prior to joining Mehlman Castagnetti, David was asked by Secretary of State John Kerry, then the Democratic nominee for President, to serve as the Presidential campaign’s top liaison to Congress. In that role, David earned plaudits from Members of the House and Senate for his briefings on campaign strategy and messaging, deft handling of political requests, and sensitive management of surrogates and speaking roles at the Democratic Convention.
David was also a partner at Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti & Hawkins, where he worked with technology leaders and innovative startups across Silicon Valley to develop and implement effective strategies to drive exports and maintain America’s lead in information technology. He also provided expert regulatory and political guidance during several mergers and acquisitions: Hewlett-Packard in its successful merger with Compaq, NewsCorp in its merger with DirecTV, and Traveler’s Insurance in its well-regarded partnership with St. Paul Insurance Company.
While on Capitol Hill, David earned a reputation for integrity and collaboration. As Chief of Staff to Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), he advised the Senator on trade, tax, transportation, technology, and matters related to the Finance and Environment and Public Works Committees. He also served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) when Mr. Mineta was Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. A decade later, David led the successful efforts to win confirmation for Mr. Mineta as Secretary of Commerce for President Clinton and as Secretary of Transportation for President George W. Bush. David is also one of the few people to have served in senior positions for Members on both the Senate Finance Committee and House Commerce Committee, as he began his career in the office of Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA).
A Massachusetts native, David is an ardent baseball fan and Red Sox enthusiast. He is a graduate of Lake Forest College and has a Master’s in Public Affairs from the John McCormack Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Lake Forest College and is a member of the Medford High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Ann, and their two sons.