/Rob Portman’s chief of staff to head Google’s D.C. office

Rob Portman’s chief of staff to head Google’s D.C. office

Rob Portman

Sen. Rob Portman. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman’s chief of staff, Mark Isakowitz, is being brought on to lead Google’s Washington office as battles over tech policy heat up in Congress and in the Trump administration.

Isakowitz will be head of government affairs and public policy for the U.S. and Canada. He served as Portman’s (R-Ohio) chief of staff since 2014, playing key roles on tax reform, opioid legislation and trade policy. Isakowitz is a longtime Republican operative in the House, Senate and presidential races, and also was a partner and president at the government relations firm Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock before taking the Portman job.

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Karan Bhatia, vice president of government affairs and public policy at Google, said Isakowitz will “work with lawmakers to support policies that encourage growth and responsible innovation.”

“While I will miss working with Senator Portman and his team, I am very excited to join a company that is constantly innovating, creating opportunity, and helping the American economy grow,” Isakowitz said.

Portman’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, Kevin Smith, a former top aide to Speaker John Boehner, will assume the role of chief of staff in Portman’s office. Emily Benavides is being promoted to Portman’s new communications director.

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