Jake Johnston, president

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Jake combines a unique background as a senior legislative staff to Members of Congress, a manager in the communications department of a Fortune 500 company and a senior consultant for a global Public Affairs Agency. This background allows Jake to see issues from a variety of perspectives and ensure that issues and policies have a broad strategic platform. 

Prior to forming the Johnston Group, Jake spent five years as a Vice President at APCO Worldwide, the global Public Affairs Agency of the Decade (Holmes Report 2010) headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in Seattle and around the globe. At APCO, Jake built a government relations practice that was integrated into the consultancy’s offerings to clients.

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Before APCO, Jake was the Manager of Government Affairs for Immunex Corporation, a Seattle-based Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical company. At Immunex, Jake led the company’s government affairs and public affairs strategy and worked on a successful strategy to gain Medicare coverage for certain self-injected biopharmaceutical therapies. Jake also led two Congressional Biotechnology Staff Trips that brought leading biotechnology thought leaders into collaborative discussion with top policy and political aides to Members of Congress from Washington, D.C.

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For the seven years prior to Immunex, Jake worked for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., most recently as the Legislative Director for then-Congressman and now Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (WA). Jake also worked on the legislative staff of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (CA), Congressman Pete Stark (CA) and Speaker Thomas Foley (WA).

From his time on Capitol Hill, Jake understands the difficult choices that Members of Congress and their staff must make when prioritizing their requests and support. Jake has served in the positions that his clients seek to influence and understands the dynamics and challenges of the relationship from both sides of the desk. With this background on Capitol Hill combined with his experience at APCO Worldwide as a senior consultant, Jake has assisted companies and organizations develop effective communications and government relations strategies that have resulted in targeted media placement, direct government funding, positive policy decisions and strong relationships with key decision-makers.

Jake is the Co-Founder of ConnecT1D, a nonprofit organization providing social support to people impacted by Type 1 Diabetes. He is the volunteer camp director of the ConnecT1D Middle School Retreat and actively participates in community organizations with an emphasis on social justice, health access and gender equity.