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John Michael Gonzalez

John Michael Gonzalez

National Journal

John Michael Gonzalez stands tall on the talent scorecard kept by Obama’s designated White House Chief Staff Rahm Emanuel.

John Michael is the go-to Democratic strategist to the critical moderate House New Democrat Coalition and a trusted advisor to House Democratic Leadership.

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Jon Cowan, Co-Founder and President of Third Way

John Michael was a huge force behind our launch in the House of Representatives. Among the most effective Chiefs of Staff in Congress, he knows everyone and has the relationships to make things happen. He was an indispensable part of our team because of his strategic thinking, unerring guidance and tireless advocacy helped steer us through the complexities of Caucus politics…

At a Glance

Career Highlights

  • Chief of Staff, Congressman Chris Bell (D-TX)
  • Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL)
  • Transition Congressional Affairs, President-elect Barack Obama

Areas of Expertise

  • Democratic Politics and Strategy
  • Trade
  • Health Care
  • Financial Services

Key Legislation

  • Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
  • Colombia Free Trade Agreement
  • Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (Russia PNTR)
  • Dominican Republican-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • Affordable Care Act


  • University of St. Thomas, Houston


John Michael came to Peck Madigan Jones after serving in the Obama Transition’s Legislative Affairs office, where he led the outreach to the House Committees on Financial Services, Energy & Commerce, and Small Business.

Beginning his political career with the late Governor Ann Richards (D-TX), John Michael moved to Washington, DC to serve as Chief of Staff to Congressman Chris Bell (D-TX) and then to Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL), a co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition. John Michael is relied upon to assist incoming freshmen classes and to serve as mentor for Members and Chiefs of Staff and advise Leadership and the New Democrat Coalition on incumbent protection.

In Congress, John Michael helped lead efforts among House Democrats to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement and the Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement.

Coordinating moderate think tank Third Way’s introduction to the House, John Michael brought this key progressive, pro-growth research resource to House Members, Caucus Leadership and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Because of his work with the Obama transition team and his several years in the moderate leadership of the House Democratic caucus, John Michael continues to be a trusted resource to most of the House Democratic Leadership as well as the pro-business New Democrat Coalition.

At Peck Madigan Jones, John Michael has played a key role in many significant legislative battles. He has been the lead Democratic lobbyist for major trade victories on capitol hill including Colombia, Russia PNTR, Trade Promotion Authority, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He is business’s go-to Democrat for difficult trade votes.

A critical victory for the Affordable Care Act was protecting the Senate/White House compromise on pharmaceutical issues. John Michael played a key role in mitigating efforts to undercut this important compromise.