Wesley Bizzell serves as Senior Assistant General Counsel, External Affairs and Managing Director of Political Law and Ethics Programs for Altria Client Services LLC (“ALCS”), where he provides in-house legal counsel on matters relating to the political, legislative, and lobbying activities of Altria Group, Inc., and its companies.
In this role, Mr. Bizzell is responsible for ensuring that Altria and its companies comply with all laws and regulations regarding federal, state, local, and international campaign finance, government ethics, gifts to government officials, lobbying disclosure and reporting, and charitable giving. Overseeing a comprehensive compliance system covering the regulation of government affairs, Mr. Bizzell provides advice and guidance on political law compliance for more than 75 jurisdictions. Mr. Bizzell also supports Altria’s public policy activities, providing significant services related to legislative and regulatory drafting and interpretation.
Mr. Bizzell is an authority on political compliance law and is active in the compliance legal community. He chairs the Conference Board’s Committee on Corporate Political Spending, a committee of leading American corporations dedicated to accountability, education, and engagement on issues of corporate political activity. In addition, he is a longtime faculty member for the Practicing Law Institute’s annual Corporate Political Activities conference. For four years, he served as co-chair of the Conference Committee for the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (“COGEL”), a professional organization of government officials with responsibilities or interests in governmental ethics, elections, campaign finance, and lobby laws. In 2018, COGEL awarded Mr. Bizzell its highest honor, the COGEL Award, for making a “demonstrable and positive contribution to the fields of campaign finance, ethics, elections, lobbying and freedom of information over a significant period of time.”
Previously, Mr. Bizzell was an attorney in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Federal Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group. His career also includes more than six years on Capitol Hill, where he served as an aide to Arkansas Senators David Pryor and Dale Bumpers and handled matters involving the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Social Security Administration, Department of Education, and Department of Labor. Additionally, he has served in the Office of General Counsel and the Privatization and Special Projects Branch of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Department of Justice, where he focused on a myriad of issues involving privatization and government procurement.
Mr. Bizzell is extremely active in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal and corporate communities. Currently, he serves as President of the National LGBT Bar Association, the leading association for LGBTQ lawyers, law students, judges, and other legal professionals. He has been named by London’s Financial Times (2017 and 2018) and Yahoo Finance (2019) as one of the 100 worldwide OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Corporate Executives for his work on diversity and inclusion issues. Chambers and Partners also named him the 2019 LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year for his dedication and commitment to LGBT diversity programs and his efforts to advance LGBT+ professionals in the law. He is a board member for the tech nonprofit AsylumConnect, which helps LGBTQ asylum seekers find safe resources while their U.S. asylum process is pending. Additionally, he is a co-founder of Altria’s LGBT Employee Resource Group, Mosaic, and is the chair of its Culture, Inclusion, and Connection Committee. Mr. Bizzell volunteers as a mentor for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (“LCLD”) Law School Mentoring Program and was selected as a 2014 LCLD Fellow.
Mr. Bizzell graduated with a B.A. in justice, magna cum laude, from the American University in Washington, D.C. and received a Master of Social Work with a focus in public policy from the Catholic University of America. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an editor for the Georgetown Law Journal. He was a member of the inaugural class of the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ LGBTQ Executive Leadership Program. He is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars.
Term: 2019 – 2021