Joe Onek, Former Pelosi Counsel and Washington Legal Veteran, Joins The Raben Group

January 31, 2011

Washington, DC – The Raben Group today announced that Joseph Onek, whose career has included senior positions in all three branches of the federal government, has joined the Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm. 

Mr. Onek joins the staff as a principal, bringing to the firm over four decades of experience in Washington, DC, most recently as senior counsel to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and senior policy analyst at the Open Society Institute.

Mr. Onek’s distinguished record of public service spans many generations of Washington politics.  In the Carter Administration, he served on the White House Domestic Policy Staff as associate director of health and human resources and later as deputy counsel to the President.  In the Clinton Administration, Mr. Onek was the senior coordinator for rule of law at the State Department and principal deputy associate attorney general at the Department of Justice.

Mr. Onek also worked in the Senate for Senator Ted Kennedy as an assistant counsel on the Administrative Practice and Procedure Subcommittee and as a staff member on the Labor and Public Welfare Committee.

For more than fifteen years Mr. Onek practiced law in the private sector, first as a partner at the firm Onek Klein & Farr and subsequently as a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP.  In the non-profit world, he worked as an attorney and then director of the Center for Law & Social Policy (CLASP) and, more recently, as senior counsel and director of the Liberty and Security Initiative at the Constitution Project.

A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Mr. Onek began his legal career as a law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  He clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice William J. Brennan in the 1968-69 term.

Mr. Onek is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as chair of the board of CLASP.  He will provide strategic advice and policy expertise to The Raben Group’s clients in a range of matters.

“Joe’s commitment to social justice and the rule of law and his deep engagement with current policy issues put him in a category of his own,” said Robert Raben, the firm’s president.  “We could not be more delighted that he will be joining us.”

Founded in 2002 by Mr. Raben, a longtime congressional aide and former assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, The Raben Group combines "inside the Beltway" experience, insight and access with outside-the-box creativity for clients in the corporate, non-profit and governmental sectors.  The firm’s clients take advantage of a tailored suite of services including strategy and policy development, direct lobbying, strategic communications, coalition building, issue campaigns and political counsel.  The firm’s offices are located in downtown Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

For a full biography, visit The Raben Group’s website at

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