Jonathan Miller, a nationally-celebrated government relations professional, leads Frost Brown Todd’s federal advocacy practice and has emerged as one of the country’s leading advocates and attorneys for the global hemp industry.
Jonathan serves as Member-in-Charge of Frost Brown Todd’s Washington, D.C. office, whose combination of public policy and regulatory experience, backed by the support of a full-service law firm with offices in key markets, carves out a unique value proposition: He can draw readily on the firm’s strong constituent-based relationships to provide clients with exclusive and actionable insights regarding the legal trends and developments that stand to greatly impact their industries. In so doing, Jonathan leads a team that presents clients a one-stop shop for regulatory and legislative services, promoting efficiency, communication, and collaboration.
There are few individuals who have been more influential in the development of the U.S. hemp industry. Upon helping found the U.S. Hemp Roundtable (and its sister organization, the U.S. Hemp Authority), Jonathan has served as the industry’s leading advocate for Hemp and CBD legislation on the ground in Congress and in dozens of state legislatures. A recovering politician (the Democrat was elected twice as Kentucky’s State Treasurer), Jonathan has worked across the aisle with leading hemp champions such as U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on critical legislation, including the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. Now he spends his time working with Congress, the White House, the USDA, FDA and DEA to promote policies that advance the industry. In acknowledgment of his accomplishments, the National Law Journal named Jonathan to its inaugural class of “Trailblazers” among government relations professionals and Politico labeled him a “Power Player” on hemp issues on Capitol Hill.
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 skills 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.
Jonathan is a member of the D.C. and Kentucky bars.
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 in 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 develop 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 University, A.B., 1989, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
The Best Lawyers in America®, Government Relations Practice, 2021-2023.
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.
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