Dean Mead’s lobbying team has a new leader: Jennifer Ungru.
The firm announced the longtime lobbyist would succeed Peter Dunbar in a Monday news release, noting that she is the first woman to lead the full-service law firm’s government relations practice.
Ungru has nearly 20 years of political and policy experience, having held high-profile roles in the Executive Office of the Governor, the Florida Legislature, and at the highest levels of national and statewide political campaigns.
“Using her political acumen and an analytical approach, Jennifer helps clients define their objectives, build a cohesive strategy, and overcome challenges that stand between them and their goals. Her deep understanding of ‘the how and the why’ of policy and the political process delivers results for clients,” Dunbar said. “That dedication and expertise makes her the ideal leader for the practice moving forward.”
Alongside Ungru’s elevation, Dean Mead announced the addition of Emily Duda Buckley and Timothy Riley to its government affairs practice.
Buckley will serve as the firm’s government affairs manager. She comes to Dean Mead from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where she has worked as director of legislative affairs since 2019.
The position saw Buckley use her analytical and relationship-building skills to work cooperatively with stakeholders, represent the department in front of the Legislature and to lobby the legislative and executive branches on a variety of issues.
Before her career in public service, Buckley represented clients in a diverse set of industries. Notable clients include State Farm, Leon Medical Centers, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Charter Schools USA. She has also held positions in the Executive Office of the Governor, the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget, and the Florida House of Representatives.
Riley is also joining the firm’s Tallahassee office, bringing to the firm his broad-based environmental law practice which includes permitting and compliance counseling, civil and administrative litigation, regulatory due diligence, enforcement defense, and legislative representation.
He advises and represents clients on matters of state and federal environmental law, particularly regarding construction activities within wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas, oil and gas development, and water use.
Riley’s clients are primarily from the manufacturing and public utility industries, but he also advises real estate developers, commercial wetland mitigation banks, and agricultural enterprises.
With experience in Florida environmental permitting, administrative law, the federal Clean Water Act, and NEPA, as well as a frequently published author, Riley aims to use his real-world knowledge to help clients through all phases of a project’s development, from permitting to compliance and from the courtroom to the floor of the Legislature.
Riley is also an officer and judge advocate in the Florida Army National Guard practicing in the fields of operational law, environmental compliance, and military justice.
“Dean Mead’s Government Relations and Lobbying practice has a diverse array of clients with a variety of complex issues that require continuous counsel and strategy for legislative, executive and even federal lobbying initiatives,” Ungru said. “We need an equally diverse and experienced team to deliver results for our clients, the addition of Emily and Timothy strengthens our practice and will allow us to continue meeting even our most ambitious objectives for our clients.”