Private Sector: Consulting (Political, Management, International, Defense) and Government Relations

The below resource covers political consulting, management consulting, international affairs consulting, defense consulting, and government relations.


Political Consulting

Political consulting refers to firms who are hired by individuals, political groups, and campaigns to help run political campaigns. There are many facets to running a successful political campaign, such as voter outreach, voter analytics (much like marketing analytics), public relations, marketing and media strategy, fundraising, and much more! Large firms are hired by campaigns on both sides of the aisle, while some boutique firms may work only for a specific party. Entry-level and internship positions are political consulting firms are a great way to experience the nuts and bolts of political campaigning.

The following is a list of political consulting firms and what they do:

  • ActBlue: Democratic campaigns
  • A.B. Data Ltd
    Integrated fundraising, direct mail, digital fundraising, analytics and planning, list services, and production management. DC, Wisconsin, NY
  • The Blue Lab: Political consulting incubator for progressive candidates, staffed by students. Boston, MA
  • California Strategies, LLC
    Public strategy firm, focus on helping clients navigate CA's political, regulatory, legislative, and media environment. CA
  • Campaign Solutions
    Online consulting firm, fundraising, advertising, mobile, social media and web development. VA, NJ, CA
  • The Campaign Workshop
    Political consulting firm specializes in direct mail, print, and online advertising for issue advocacy, candidate, and ballot initiative campaigns. DC
  • The Eppstein Group
    Advertising, PR, opinion polling, and elections. TX
  • First Tuesday Strategies
    Political and grassroots consulting firms, campaign strategy, online and print media, direct mail, video and radio production, marketing,advertising. SC
  • Global Strategy Group
    Public affairs and research firm, research, strategic communications, digital strategy, grassroots and grasstop organizing, marketing and branding. NY
  • Impact Politics
    Political consulting firm for candidate and initiative campaigns, parties, advocacy orgs, and non profits. FL
  • KC Strategies
    Political consulting firm - TV, radio, ad and social media, robo calls, polling and research, mobile canvassing and Voip phone banking. TX
  • Liberty Square Group: Full service strategic communication firm, including managing political campaigns. Boston, MA 
  • National Media Research, Planning and Placement
    Media planning and placement for local, state, and national campaigns using research drive approach. VA
  • The Parkside Group
    PR, ads, govt affairs campaign mgmt
    Org w/ media experts in tech, web, online and offline marketing, online reputation mgmt, and campaign consulting
  • 4CM&M
    Campaign strategy, messaging, ads. DC, Boston, NJ
  • Gstrategies
    Campaign management, media strategy, strategic planning and project mgmt, fundraising, event planning/mktg. WI
  • 270Strategies
    Grassroots consulting. DC
  • BerlinRosen
    PR firm and campaign consulting. NY


Consulting, Risk Management, Strategic Advisory

Management Consulting

Management Consulting is a popular term in the business world. In this case, we’ll focus on management consulting firms that focus on consulting as it relates to government and international affairs interests. While the government is vast and has many employees, agencies sometimes contract out to consultants to research and solve important questions. The agency that utilizes consulting firms the most is the Department of Defense, and you will find that most of the below firms focus on defense consulting. There are some entry-level positions for students interested in management consulting in this field, though some level of expertise and experience in the defense industry or international relations (language) is usually required. The day-to-day job varies and often involved research, writing, data analysis, and presentations. Entry-level positions include Consultant, Analyst, Research Assistant, Policy Research, Political Risk Analyst, etc.  Follow the companies on social media and LinkedIn to learn about opportunities. 

Please also look at the consulting resource developed by Stephanie Hessler, Career Community Advisor for Business, Finance, Consulting, and Entrepreneurship.

  • Abt Associates: research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, climate change, and international development
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
    Large global firm providing management and analytics consulting services to government and other clients
  • Deloitte
    Large global network of firms providing a range of consulting services; the link focuses on aerospace and defense
  • McKinsey
    Global management consulting firm that serves a broad mix of private, public and social sector institutions; link focuses on aerospace and defense
  • BCG
    Global consulting firm; link focuses on aerospace and defense services
  • Avescent
    Strategy and management consulting firm serving clients operating in aerospace, defense and other government-driven markets
  • Bain & Co.
    Global consulting firm; link focuses on aerospace and defense services
  • SAIC
    Tech, engineering, and intelligence solutions for government clients; some policy position. 

International Affairs Focus/Political Risk/Advisory Services

  • Albright Stonebridge Group: Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) is the premier global strategy and commercial diplomacy firm. ASG helps clients understand and successfully navigate the intersection of public, private and social sectors in international markets. ASG’s worldwide team has served clients in more than 110 countries.
  • Scowcroft Group: The Scowcroft Group is a premier international business advisory firm managed directly by Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.
  • Asia Group: The Asia Group (TAG) is a strategy and business advisory group to corporations and organizations with business interests in the trans-Pacific region.
  • McCarty Associates: McLarty Associates is the international strategic advisory firm led by Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III, John D. Negroponte, and Nelson W. Cunningham.
  • Cohen Group: Provide corporate leadership with strategic advice and practical assistance in business development, market entry, regulatory affairs and deal sourcing from strategy conception to successful closing.
  • Eurasia Group: Political risk and management consulting
  • Kroll: Investigations, due dilligence, cybersecurity, intelligence
  • Constellis: Intelligence, technololgy, humanitarian & risk response, armed services, etc. 
  • Control Risks: Global risk consultancy
  • Pinkerton: Risk management
  • Risk Advisory: Global risk management services

International Development Focus

  • ICF
    Management consulting; clients include government & international development sector
  • Chemonics: Development project management
  • RTI International: Research nonprofit that addresses many development challenges

Defense/Aerospace Focus (may require engineering, physical sciences, tech skills)

See this list on Defense News for the top 100 Defense Contracters 

Government Relations

Government relations refers to the sector of an organization that focuses on public policy and advocacy. Many large private, public, and nonprofit organizations have government relations division (e.g., universities, hospitals, banks, pharmaceutical companies, tech companies, etc). The government relations team works to make sure that an organization’s interests and values are represented at local, state, and federal government levels.

The day-to-day job often involves tracking legislation and evaluating its impact on an organization, advocating for legislation that are in line with the organization's policies, and communicating to international and external stakeholders. Government relations can be an exciting place for those passionate about a certain area of policy (e.g., healthcare) as well as the process of passing legislation at the state and federal level.