FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Robert Lenhard

Covington & Burling LLP

Washington, DC, USA

Robert Lenhard is a member of the firm’s Election & Political Law practice group and advises corporations, trade associations, not-for-profit  rganizations, and high-net-worth individuals on compliance with federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, and government ethics laws.

Mr. Lenhard routinely assists clients in establishing and operating federal and state PACs, compliance programs associated with campaign finance and pay-to-play laws; advises advocacy groups and their donors; conducts compliance trainings and audits of federal and state lobbying and political programs; and counsels clients on compliance with congressional gift and travel rules.

Prior to joining the firm in 2008, Mr. Lenhard served as Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in 2007 and Vice Chairman of the agency in 2006, during which time the agency handled over 10 major rulemakings, had among its most productive years in enforcement and audit, and adopted several reforms to the enforcement process. Mr. Lenhard has also led the Presidential Transition Team that reviewed the FEC for the incoming Obama administration in 2008-2009.

Before his service to the FEC, Mr. Lenhard provided legal advice to labor organizations active in the political process at the federal, state, and local levels. He represented clients in planning and implementing political strategies as well as appearing in matters before the Federal Election Commission and state regulatory agencies. Mr. Lenhard also was involved in litigation in the Florida trial and appellate courts over the counting of absentee ballots in Seminole County, Florida in 2000.

Representative Matters

  • Provides ongoing political law compliance advice to Fortune 500 companies and trade associations.
  • Represented Super-PACs, including Priorities USA Action, active in Presidential and Senate elections.
  • Advised non-profit organizations and high-net-worth individuals in compliance related to political communications programs.
  • Represented internet start-up in a successful FEC advisory opinion request regarding an online political giving program.
  • Represented individuals and organizations in enforcement investigations related to foreign national contributions in US elections and excessive contributions by campaign donors.

Previous Experience
Federal Election Commission, Commissioner
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Associate General Counsel

Honors and Rankings
Named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “Top Lawyers in Washington for Election & Political Law.”


  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1984
  • Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 1981
    • with honors

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