Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s senior national security advisor has joined Steptoe & Johnson’s Washington government relations practice. Richard Verma, who served as a policy advisor to Sen. Reid for the past five years, practiced in Steptoe’s international and technology groups before going to the public sector. He rejoined the firm ten days ago, though he says leaving Sen. Reid’s office was a difficult decision.
“He’s just a great boss,” Verma says of the senator. “He’s quite a guy, and just the right guy for the Senate at this time.”
Still, Verma says after spending the last five years on the Hill, he felt the time was right for a change. “We [the Democrats] had gotten a lot accomplished, we were in the majority, and it seemed like there was a window.” He says using that window to return to Steptoe was a “natural” choice since he never fell out of touch with his friends there.
Steptoe’s Washington government affairs and public policy practice is only a year old. The firm acquired it last December, when it picked up a group of eight attorneys from Collier Shannon Scott, before that firm merged with Kelley Drye. Verma says it’s exciting to be a part of a practice that’s still growing. And while he says he expects long hours at Steptoe, he says his job as Sen. Reid’s senior national security advisor also “was hard to put away when you got home.”
In a press release, Sen. Reid said Verma was “someone whose judgment we relied on during a pivotal time for the Senate.”