Thompson has also served as assistant vice president and director of governmental relations at FAMU.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Tola Thompson, chief of staff for Florida Congressman Al Lawson, is joining Ballard Partners, one of the nation’s top lobbying firms led by founder and President Brian Ballard of Tallahassee.
“I am delighted to join Ballard Partners and to be working with Brian and his outstanding team in Washington,” said Thompson.
With over a decade of experience in the House of Representatives serving two members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Thompson has accumulated a wealth of expertise serving as policy and political adviser to very active members of Congress. Thompson also previously served as FAMU assistant vice president and director of governmental relations. In this role, he successfully secured more than $251 million in new funding from federal and state sources and produced written testimony and public statements for the University president, trustees, and other senior-level administrators.
In addition to his service for Rep. Lawson, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Thompson also worked for 10 years for Congresswoman Carrie Meek, as a communications director and senior legislative assistant, where he was the primary media contact for a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.
In that position, Thompson cultivated relationships with Washington, D.C., Florida, Miami, and national press, and managed a multi-issue legislative portfolio that included telecommunications, education, labor, health, and agricultural appropriations.
“Tola’s extensive experience in the U.S. House of Representatives will further strengthen our firm’s substantial congressional practice,” said Ballard. “We are proud to have Tola join our exceptional team of professionals and are eager to share his unique perspective with our clients.”
Additionally, Thompson worked on a Congressional Black Caucus health initiative to create program funding specifically addressing HIV and AIDS in communities of color and helped with the Caucus’ charitable foundation and annual legislative conference.
Thompson received his bachelor’s in journalism from the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.