Martin Whitmer is co-founder of Whitmer & Worrall, LLC, a government relations and strategic consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Mr. Whitmer has a broad policy and political background which has allowed him to successfully promote and advance key legislative programs within the public policy arena and on Capitol Hill. Mr. Whitmer successfully works with both Republican and Democratic leaders due to his expertise transcending beyond political partisanship. While Mr. Whitmer has worked extensively on many different public policy issues, he has earned a distinguished reputation as one of Washington’s leading government relations strategists for the transportation industry. He leads the firm’s transportation and infrastructure practice which represents an impressive corporate clientele ranging from Virgin America and Penske Truck Leasing to transportation related trade associations such as the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA).
Mr. Whitmer most recently served as a senior official at the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Bush Administration. He was appointed by President Bush to serve as a Special Assistant to Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and was then promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff. In this capacity he oversaw a departmental staff of nearly 60,000 and a budget of $54 billion. He served as a senior advisor to the Secretary on all matters relating to highway, transit, trucking, safety, energy and trade issues. Mr. Whitmer spearheaded one of the department’s key priorities in 2004 by building an outreach program to the business community, labor unions and associations in preparation for reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Additionally, he was selected to serve as an oversight representative to the Interagency Task Force for Expediting Energy Projects where he focused on streamlining proposals. He was also the principal architect of the Presidents’ Executive Order on Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, which streamlines the environmental review process for transportation projects.
Prior to joining the administration, Mr. Whitmer served as Vice President of Government Relations for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), a position he held since 1997. In this pivotal role, he served as ARTBAs primary direct lobbyist on Capitol Hill and managed the ARTBA PAC as well as all political affairs. Mr. Whitmer was a key player in ARTBAs legislative and coalition activities that helped accomplish a 44 percent increase in federal surface transportation program funding through TEA-21, which was enacted in 1998. Mr. Whitmer also served as the Director of the Public-Private Ventures Division which implemented laws and regulations to expand innovative financing tools and leverage federal dollars for transportation projects.
From 1994 until 1997, Mr. Whitmer served as the Republican Legislative Representative for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). In this capacity, he focused on transportation market issues and joined with management organizations in an effort to remove the four transportation trust funds from the unified federal budget. He has also worked in the Capitol Hill offices of Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) and House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX). Mr. Whitmer worked for the 1988 and 1992 Bush-Quayle presidential campaigns and has subsequently also assisted with the campaigns of several key members of Congress.
Mr. Whitmer earned his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1999, he graduated from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America evening program, which is also in the Nation’s Capital. Concurrent with his work toward a law degree, Martin also completed a master’s degree in Public Policy.
Mr. Whitmer is a member of the Virginia State Bar; and a member of the Capital Club. He is from Dallas, Texas and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia.