SALT LAKE CITY — The recently resigned former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and BYU graduate has taken a job with a high-powered law firm in Washington.
Matthew S. Petersen, most recently the FEC’s vice chairman, resigned at the end of August after more than a decade on the commission. He joined Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, a Washington, D.C., firm focused on government affairs, including compliance, governance, First Amendment, redistricting and charity - and voter - registration. Its clients include prominent companies, nonprofits, individuals and campaigns.
Petersen is recognized nationally for his experience and expertise in election and ethics laws, free speech, campaign finance, lobbying disclosures and political activities.
“Matt offers an unrivaled combination of experience, expertise and professionalism across all facets of election law,” said Jill Holtzman Vogel, the law firm’s founder and managing partner. “His guiding hand in shaping federal election law during a period of transformative change across three presidential administrations, and nearly two decades of service in the executive and legislative branches, makes him a tremendous asset for our clients.
Petersen joined the FEC in 2008 and served as its chairman in 2010 and 2016. He worked as the Republican chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration before his appointment to the commission. He earned a degree in philosophy from BYU in 1996 and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1999.
“HVJT is one of the nation’s go-to firms for tough, complex legal issues, particularly those that touch on our political system,” he said. “I’ve seen firsthand the quality of their people and their counsel in some of the most high-stakes regulatory, policy and political matters.
Petersen’s departure left the five-member FEC with three commissioners, one shy of the four required to make decisions. President Donald Trump nominated Republican attorney Trey Trainor in 2017 to fill an opening, but the Senate has yet to vote on his nomination. FEC guidelines also say that no more than three commissioners can be of the same political party.