Jonathan Miller, the Member-in-Charge of Frost Brown Todd’s Lexington office, also leads the firm’s multi-state, multi-discipline hemp practice.
Jonathan, has emerged as one of the nation’s leading hemp lawyers, while serving as one of the industry’s leading advocates for legalization. Upon leading successful lobbying efforts that laid the groundwork for the current hemp program regime, Miller now serves as trusted counsel to dozens of companies in the industrial hemp space. In 2014, Miller helped lead the successful battle against the DEA’s efforts to ban importation of hemp seed, and he now serves as general counsel to the US Hemp Roundtable, the industry’s leading business trade association, which led the fight to securing permanent federal legalization of hemp and continues to address the development of hemp-friendly state regulation. Jonathan’s work was recognized by the prestigious National Law Journal which named him to its inaugural class of “Trailblazers” among government relations professionals.
Prior to joining FBT, Miller spent nearly two decades in public service, where he held numerous senior positions in state and federal government, including two terms as Kentucky’s State Treasurer, in addition to serving as Kentucky’s Secretary of Finance and Administration, Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Energy, and Legislative Director for Congressman Jim Cooper.
Jonathan assists his broad client base – ranging from Fortune 500 firms, to aspiring entrepreneurs, to non-profit associations – in navigating complex local, state and federal government institutions through his counsel on legal, public policy, political and public relations matters. Jonathan leads teams of lawyers, lobbyists and economic development specialists in helping his clients win and retain government contracts and incentives, develop and execute public-private partnerships, and survive and transcend crisis management episodes.
There are typically three types of government relations professionals. Those with broad, substantive knowledge in matters of law and public policy; those that can refine and articulate an effective message to policymakers and bureaucrats, and those with the political skills and personal connections to navigate administrative and legislative progress. Jonathan is all of the above. As former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele opines: “It is the rare individual that can combine intense substantive legal and policy experience with a broad understanding of the interpersonal dynamics and deep personal relationships that make our system of government prosper. Jonathan Miller is not only uniquely gifted, but more importantly, a good friend and trusted advisor.”
Jonathan is also a uniquely gifted communicator, authoring three books on faith, public policy and crisis management (including the nationally acclaimed The Compassionate Community (St. Martin’s Press: 2006), and serving as a regular contributor to the national political journal The Daily Beast and the popular college sports site, Kentucky Sports Radio. He has appeared on dozens of national news talk shows including: MSNBC’s The Cycle, Fox News’ Fox and Friends and Happening Now, CNN’s America’s Choice and Crossfire, CNBC’s Morning Call, NBC’s Dateline NBC, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and Bloomberg’s Market Makers; serves as a semi-regular American politics commentator for Canada’s CTV News; and even played straight man to correspondent/comedian Al Madrigal on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has also testified before the U.S. House on energy efficiency and the U.S. Senate on student credit card debt.
Jonathan’s analytic abilities brought him both high honors from Harvard’s college and law school, and led him to the final table of the World Series of Poker. He, and his youth camp sweetheart, Lisa, are proudest of their two 20-something children, Emily and Abigail.
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With the Panama Canal expansion imminent, local officials in far-West Kentucky approached Jonathan to help them seize the economic advantage of the expected increase of Mississippi River traffic. Jonathan led a seven-month strategic initiative, and the West Kentucky Alliance for Vibrant Economy (WAVE) concluded with a successful Confluence that drew more than 225 participants, including the Governor and senior U.S. officials. Now, Jonathan is leading a public-private partnership to develop a new riverport terminal at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Building an alliance of energy savings companies, financial services firms and environmental policy advocates, Jonathan spearheaded local and state lobbying efforts to pass legislation that created the Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program, bringing to Kentucky an innovative financing mechanism that makes it possible for Kentucky businesses to engage in energy improvements of their properties without impacting their bottom lines. Jonathan now advises companies that developing multimillion-dollar building improvement projects using the EPAD model.
When a deal was announced between a state university and a local hospital that could have promoted a monopoly over health care services, other health care providers hired Jonathan to lead a multifaceted effort to challenge the arrangement through the legal process, the General Assembly, and the media. After an intensive crisis management effort, the deal was withdrawn, replaced by a competitive bidding process that ensured more local health care choices at lower prices.
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1992, magna cum laude
Harvard College, A.B., 1989, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Selected as a Government Relations Trailblazer by the National Law Journal, 2019.
As Secretary of Finance and Administration, he chaired pension reform efforts, led the way on the Administration’s broadband expansion program, spearheaded the Governor’s e-transparency initiative, and launched a first-in-the-country Green Bank to fund public energy efficiency initiatives.
Among his many accomplishments as Kentucky State Treasurer was the creation of Kentucky’s Affordable Prepaid Tuition (KAPT) program, which has helped make it easier for nearly 10,000 families to afford college.
Named by the Aspen Institute as one of 24 members of the first class of its Rodel Fellowship program, whose mission is to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation’s most promising young political leaders.
Appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002 to the National Summit on Retirement Savings, and named the same year to the Executive Monitoring Commission of local and state financial officers that monitored the return of assets seized during the Holocaust to their rightful owners.
Winner in 2010 of the University of Kentucky’s First Annual Public Service Sustainability Award, “in recognition of the personal commitment to environmental issues and sustainability practices”; and of the 2009 President’s Award from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Kentucky Bar Association, Member
Lexington Urban League, Former Board Member
Temple Adath Israel, Member
Co-founder, No Labels
Member, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Teaches Sunday School to high school students at Temple Adath Israel since 1998 on the subject of Tikkun Olam, healing the world