Personnel note: Former Ron DeSantis Chief of Staff Adrian Lukis joins Ballard Partners

Adrian Lukis flag
Lukis helped implement DeSantis' pandemic, health care, environmental and gaming agendas.

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ former Chief of Staff Adrian Lukis is joining the lobbying firm Ballard Partners.

Lukis, who left the DeSantis administration in October after six months as Chief of Staff, had served the Governor since his election in 2018. He also brings experience as a staffer for the House of Representatives and the Republican Party of Florida.

Brian Ballard, the firm’s president and founder, announced Lukis’ move Monday.

“Adrian’s recent experience at the highest levels of Florida state government significantly expands the depth of our firm’s formidable expertise in the state Capitol,” Ballard said. “His long-standing reputation as well as his unique experience working closely with Governor DeSantis, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House will make him an invaluable partner and advisor for our firm’s clients.”

Lukis was elevated from Deputy to head Chief of Staff in March when his predecessor, Shane Strum, left the Governor’s Office to become Broward Health’s CEO. During his tenure as Chief of Staff, Lukis helped implement DeSantis’ pandemic, health care, environmental and gaming agendas.

However, Lukis didn’t plan to stick around long so he could commit more time to his young family.

“I am delighted to join Ballard Partners and to be working with the firm’s unparalleled team in Tallahassee,” Lukis said.

Lukis joined the House staff in 2014, serving as an attorney and then deputy staff director. Beginning in 2017, he spent a year as deputy director for agenda development at the Republican Party of Florida. He returned to the House for a brief stint as senior adviser in late 2018 before joining the Governor’s Office as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Lukis’ move to Ballard Partners also represents his return to the private sector. He practiced corporate and business law immediately after law school before reentering government, which he had done as a legislative intern and as a law clerk in Gov. Rick Scott‘s General Counsel’s Office.

Lukis earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University.

DeSantis named James Uthmeier to replace Lukis as Chief of Staff.

Though Ballard Partners greatly expanded under the Donald Trump administration because of Ballard’s strong ties to the former President, the Florida-based firm has built a bipartisan reputation. Outside of Florida, the firm has offices in Washington, Boston and Tel Aviv, Israel.

Lukis’s father, Syl, is the managing partner of the firm’s Washington office.

Ballard Partners has long been one of the top-earning firms in Florida, with quarterly reports routinely breaking the $5 million level.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


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