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Bingaman Chief of Staff Goes to K Street

Van Heuvelen Strategies has nabbed Stephen Ward, who just decamped from Capitol Hill as chief of staff to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).

Ward said he joined the firm in part because of his ties to its founder, Bob Van Heuvelen, an ex-chief of staff to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

“I’ve been on the receiving end of their lobbying,” Ward said. “They have a great reputation.”

Van Heuvelen and Ward first got to know each other through the Senate Democratic chiefs of staff organization, a group that Ward has chaired. Ward also served on the board of the bipartisan Senate chiefs of staff organization. And the newly minted lobbyist said he plans to draw on his ties on both sides of the aisle in his new job.

The bipartisan chiefs network, both lobbyists added, has led to “real relationships.” When Ward broke his leg during a February snow storm, he couldn’t drive into the office and ended up bumming rides from such people as the chief of staff to staunch conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

Ward also built connections with Republicans as director of government affairs for EDS Corp. where he worked before he joined Bingaman’s staff in 2003.

“Stephen has a deep understanding of the Senate and how legislation moves through Congress,” Van Heuvelen said. “He has been Jeff Bingaman’s right hand over the last seven-plus years.”

Ward plans to focus on clean technology issues but will also work on a variety of client matters from energy to health care, tax and financial services. He is under a one-year lobbying ban in the Senate.

Ward isn’t the only person moving around on K Street.

Sanofi-aventis U.S. has added Jeremy Leffler as director for public policy. He joins from BayBio, a San Francisco-area trade association of biotech companies, where he served as chief operating officer and head of policy.

And after more than five years with the DCI Group, Emily Lampkin has left to start her own public affairs shop, the Lampkin Group.

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