Jenner & Block

Experienced Congressional Staff Member John Sobel Joins Jenner & Block’s Government Relations Practice as Senior Specialist

WASHINGTON, DC, November 2, 2020 – Jenner & Block is pleased to announce that John A. Sobel has joined the firm as a senior government relations specialist in the firm’s Government Relations Practice in its Washington, DC office. He advises clients on matters of public policy, with a focus on Native American affairs, natural resource issues, California politics, and foreign affairs.

“We’re excited to add John to the firm’s growing Government Relations Practice,” said Jenner & Block Partner and Government Relations Practice Chair Robert C. Harmala. “His deep experience in Native American policy, foreign policy and related areas will help advance our clients' critical interests.”

Jenner & Block added government relations capabilities when six leading lawyers in Native American law, including Mr. Harmala, and two government relations specialists joined the firm in July.

“It’s a privilege to join a team and firm of exceptional high caliber,” said Mr. Sobel. “I’m looking forward to using my skills to add value for our clients and help grow our practice.”

Mr. Sobel served as chief of staff to Rep. Paul Cook of California for nearly eight years.  He focused on Native American policy and other policy areas under the natural resources umbrella, including federal land issues, forestry, mineral extraction, and renewable energy. Mr. Sobel also assisted the 14 cities and three counties within the Congressional district with matters before the federal government. He also directed policy for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere and served as the congressional office’s liaison to embassies and governments of Asia, Central America, South America, and Europe.  Mr. Sobel has led numerous successful legislative efforts and administrative lobbying efforts related to the US Department of the Interior, US Forest Service, Federal Aviation Administration, and Office of Management and Budget, among others. He was instrumental in negotiating a 90,000-acre land agreement in Johnson Valley, CA, involving US Marine Corps, US Department of Defense, and multiple constituent groups.

During this period, Mr. Sobel directed and consulted for four successful Congressional races and one successful supervisorial contest in San Bernardino County. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years employed in the California State Assembly, ending his time as a chief of staff to an Assembly member. He was instrumental to the passage of California’s landmark “Tribal Customary Adoption” law. In total, he guided 33 bills to the California governor’s desk.

A graduate of San Jose State University, Mr. Sobel received his master’s degree in government from California State University.