Personal Anecdote: Kim McDougal’s Move to GrayRobinson

by | Jul 7, 2017

Former Rick Scott chief-of-staff Kim McDougal is headed to GrayRobinson to join their government relations team. Other outlets will cover it – one already has – so let me take this moment to expound upon something that not everyone in Tallahassee knows about her.

She understands the value of political loyalty. Recognizing that the loyalty concept was a missing component in Scott’s orbit when she became Scott’s chief of staff in April 2016, she did something no other chief had since Scott became governor. She reached out to past Scott Administration staffers – whether they were “her people” or not – and organized a monthly “Scott Alumni” meeting. It was nothing more than a social gathering, but everyone who’d ever worked for Scott was welcome to gather there, alongside current staff. It was a small gesture, one that cost her and her team nothing but time, but it went a long way toward rebuilding some lost connections, repairing frayed relationships, and earning some goodwill and political loyalty for Rick Scott.

And it made ex-staffers like me feel more connected to the administration we helped build.

Kim McDougal is a longtime veteran of Tallahassee, she knows how it works. But she also demonstrated to me and several dozen other ex-Scott staffers that she understands the importance of interpersonal relationships, a skill that will serve her well at GrayRobinson.

I wish her nothing but the very best.

Here’s the full release:

GrayRobinson Adds Kim McDougal, Governor Scott’s Former Chief of Staff, to Statewide Lobbying Practice

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – GrayRobinson today announced Dr. Kim McDougal, former chief of staff to Florida Governor Rick Scott, is joining its government relations team as a senior director of government affairs in Tallahassee. McDougal brings extensive experience and knowledge regarding both policy and budget issues impacting Florida, and will advise and lobby for clients in all sectors on both policy and appropriations issues, while she continues her passion for education by also focusing on education-related issues.
McDougal began her public service career with the State of Florida in 1989 as a program auditor with the Office of the Auditor General, and later worked for the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability. During her 10-year career with the Florida Legislature, she worked on a wide array of policy areas, but the majority of her policy work focused on K-20 education policy. McDougal has worked as a senior advisor or in a leadership role for many of Florida’sEducation Commissioners. She also worked for Governor Bush in several roles within the Executive Office of the Governor, including as the policy coordinator for education in the Office of Planning and Budget. 
“Kim brings tremendous insight and invaluable experience to our firm, and will also substantially increase our team’s proficiency in the education policy and appropriations areas,” said Jason Unger, managing shareholder of GrayRobinson’s Tallahassee office. “The breadth of her governmental experience cannot be underestimated as a resource to our clients.”
McDougal served Governor Scott’s administration for almost four years, beginning as a special advisor on education, then serving as policy coordinator for Education in the Office of Planning and Budget. She then joined the senior leadership team as policy director and subsequently served as legislative affairs director. While serving as Governor Scott’s chief of staff, McDougal was responsible for directly serving and advising the Governor regarding the more than 100,000 executive branch employees and the administration of an $83 billion state budget. Her experience at the highest level in state government provided her in-depth knowledge on both policy and appropriation issues, as well as how state government functions and how to effectively navigate through Florida’s entire state government.
McDougal received her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and both her master’s and doctorate degrees from Florida State University.


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