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Mark Van de Water*

Senior Advisor

Mark Van de Water is a senior advisor in the Firm's Washington, D.C., office.

Professional Biography

Since joining the Firm in 2007, Mr. Van de Water has represented a broad-based set of clients principally in the areas of defense, aerospace, homeland security, and transportation. In partnership with his clients, he works very closely with Congress and executive branch agencies in formulating and communicating public policy recommendations.

Mr. Van de Water's focus is on increasing revenue by building awareness and program support through traditional and non-traditional strategies. He represents the diverse interests of both international companies and U.S.-based companies seeking to expand into new domestic and international markets. Mr. Van de Water's background as a senior staff member for the Appropriations Committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate provides his clients with a comprehensive knowledge of the Congressional appropriations and authorization process.

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Mr. Van de Water served on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee as Deputy Staff Director and as a professional staff member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. In addition, he served as Legislative Assistant for a senior member of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

In between his service on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mr. Van de Water was Executive Director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, a regional policy making organization and a leader in transportation forecasting and planning, hazard mitigation planning, regional housing policies, and environmental stewardship.

Prior to his service with the Regional Commission, Mr. Van de Water served as Senior Vice President of Intellibridge Corporation a leading provider of international analysis and open-source intelligence for the U.S. national security community, financial organizations, and other corporations.

From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Van de Water served as Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) Investment Development Department, where he was instrumental in growing a global portfolio to more than $18 billion in 96 countries. As Vice President, he was responsible for managing an international staff and an annual budget of more than $35 million.

As a political and policy expert, Mr. Van de Water has been quoted and interviewed by Congressional Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Marketplace, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, National Journal, The Hill, Newsweek, The Oregonian and Roll Call and The Hill newspaper has named him as one of the top lobbyists in Washington and one of the top "Hired Guns" in the nation's capital.

  • Listed as one of The Hill's "Top Lobbyists: Hired Guns" (2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Recipient – John C. Stennis Fellowship (2005)
  • Member – Advisory Board of the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University



Baker Donelson professional not admitted to the practice of law.

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