Life after Congress: Robert S. Walker

By Cahn, Emily | Roll Call, April 10, 2013 | Go to article overview

Life after Congress: Robert S. Walker


Cahn, Emily, Roll Call


Longtime Rep. Robert S. Walker"s career in Congress was marked by his fiery rhetoric, which also helped former Speaker Newt Gingrich become the first Republican to wield the gavel since the 1950s.

The former Pennsylvania lawmaker, along with Gingrich and other outspoken House Republicans, used C-SPAN to gain national attention by going on the offense against House Democratic leadership, eventually paving the way for Republicans to take control of the chamber.

When Gingrich became speaker in 1994, he rewarded Walker with a spot in leadership as chief deputy whip, although Walker was not able to secure election to majority whip, losing to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas. Two years later, in 1996, Walker announced he would retire after 20 years in the House.

Walker"s kept busy since then. Upon leaving Congress in 1997, he joined the lobbying firm now known as Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, where he continues to work today.

"We"ve built this firm substantially since I arrived in 1997, and I have a very active list of clients so that keeps me plenty busy,' Walker told CQ Roll Call.

He added that in addition to his work on K Street, he makes a concerted effort to continue his commitment to public service.

Walker said he does that by serving on a number of commissions and boards related to aerospace policy, including a stint on the Commission on the Future of the Aerospace Industry. He was appointed to that role in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

Later, from 2004 until 2011, Walker served on the Department of Energy"s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee.

Another line Walker added to his post-congressional resume is his role as chairman of the Space Foundation, a nonprofit that puts on educational programs and industry events.

"I have found it to be very rewarding taking the experience that I had in Congress and translating it both to business and public service,' Walker said. …

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