W. Graham Harper is a Partner of Delta Strategy Group. Following completion of graduate school, Harper moved to Washington, DC, and joined the Senate Agriculture Committee staff of then Chairman Thad Cochran. While at the Committee, he handled issues ranging from forestry to child nutrition, and was the lead professional staff member responsible for the eventual passage of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. He also assisted on the passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2003.
When Cochran was selected to serve as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee at the start of the 109th Congress, Senator Saxby Chambliss assumed the role of Chairman at Senate Ag. Harper was hired by Chairman Chambliss and served as a Senior Professional Staff member responsible for issues related to the CFTC, including two years of preparation and drafting of legislation to reauthorize the Commission, as well as overseeing various commodity programs, energy, specialty crop, and other issues for the Committee.
After two years under the leadership of Chairman Chambliss, Harper left the Agriculture Committee to rejoin Chairman Cochran at the Senate Appropriations Committee. There he served on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. In this role Harper was responsible for the annual budget of the CFTC, as well as various agencies within the Department of Agriculture, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, Farm Service Agency, and Rural Development.
After six years of Congressional committee work, Harper was selected to handle legislative affairs in the Office of External Affairs of the CFTC for then Acting Chairman Walt Lukken. In this position, Harper managed a broad portfolio of responsibilities including general Congressional outreach, coordinating reviews of existing and proposed policies and legislation, informing the Chairman of all issues before Congress and the Executive branch related to the CFTC, and fostering cooperative relationships between the CFTC and other Federal financial regulators. Harper was one of six CFTC staff selected to serve on an internal task force established to review market difficulties associated with the current financial crisis, in particular the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.Harper maintained this position at the CFTC through the term of Acting Chairman Michael Dunn and, most recently, Chairman Gary Gensler. His efforts under Chairman Gensler focused on shaping the future financial regulatory structure, including participating in the Congressional regulatory reform debate leading up to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. Additionally, Harper served as a liaison in meetings and conference calls with foreign regulators and was responsible for updating the progress of financial regulatory reform in the U.S. Harper joined the firm in November 2009.