Ben McMakin served for almost two decades on Capitol Hill as a senior political and legislative advisor to Members of Congress from the Pacific Northwest. As a leader of Van Ness Feldman’s Public Policy practice, Ben uses his comprehensive knowledge of Congress and the legislative process to advance client interests on an array of issues including clean tech, energy, biofuels, appropriations, transportation, defense and homeland security, and technology. Ben's clients include venture capitalists, startups, technology providers, utilities, and manufacturers.
Prior to joining Van Ness Feldman in 2005, Ben served as the Legislative Director for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the senior senator from Washington State and a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team. In this position, Ben developed and implemented Senator Murray's legislative agenda, including her work with the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Over his 17 year Capitol Hill career, Ben served as Legislative Director for Representative/Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and as Legislative Director for Representative Mike Kopetski (D-OR). Ben’s experience included extensive work with members who served on key Congressional committees, including the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives.
Ben serves on the board of VNF Solutions.
University of Oregon
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
Legislative Assistant/Legislative Director, 1996-2005
Office of Congressman Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Legislative Director, 1995-1996
Office of Congressman Mike Kopetski (D-OR)
Office of U.S. Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA)
Staff Assistant, 1988-1989