Government Experience

  • Legislative Director, United States House of Representatives, Office of Representative Wes Watkins (R-OK)


  • M.B.A., University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School, 2011
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1994
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Robert L. Smith, II

Senior Policy Advisor

Rob Smith represents a diverse client base including entities from the defense, pharmaceutical, health care, environmental, financial services and transportation industries.  A veteran of Capitol Hill, Rob uses his experience and knowledge to advise these clients on all aspects of federal advocacy, including obtaining federal funding, marketing and sales to federal agencies and developing effective relationships with their constituent members of Congress and congressional staff.  Using his numerous bi-partisan relationships on Capitol Hill, he has led many successful legislative coalition efforts on behalf of his clients.  These successes are a direct result of his well-established relationships with representatives from both parties.

A native Oklahoman, Rob is politically active and serves on the steering and finance committees for many elected officials. 

In 2004 and 2008, Rob served as a professional volunteer in the Official Proceedings Division of the Republican National Committee.  In that role, he was responsible for the logistics and hospitality of over twenty members of Congress and VIPs.

Prior to joining Venable, Rob served as federal affairs representative for Sun Microsystems.  He represented Sun, one of the world’s largest technology companies, on numerous legislative and regulatory matters including domestic and international tax, broadband, employee compensation and benefits, accounting and export controls.  He was active in directing Sun’s participation in major technology trade associations, coalitions and congressional working groups and was the company’s prime liaison before key political party organizations.

Rob's time on the Hill was spent as legislative director for Congressman Wes Watkins (R-OK), focusing on trade and tax issues, and as the military legislative aide to Armed Services Committee member Congressman Joel Hefley (R-CO), where he worked on defense procurement and military construction issues. 

Rob earned his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 1994 and his M.B.A. from University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2011.