Additions bolster firm’s government and natural resources groups
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce that Ryan A. Smith and Jon Hrobsky have joined the firm. Smith will be of counsel, focusing on government relations, natural resources, litigation and Indian law while Hrobsky will be a senior policy advisor, focusing on government relations, natural resources and energy matters.
“As one of the leading federal water attorneys, Ryan’s experience and knowledge dovetail nicely with the firm’s focus on water and natural resources,” said Al Mottur, managing partner of Brownstein’s Washington, D.C. office. “We expect to continue to see policy implications on a national level due to water issues in the West. With Ryan on our team, we’re adding another layer to our capabilities in helping current and potential clients navigate water issues at all levels.”
Most recently, Smith served as a legislative advisor to U.S. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl. In that role, Smith advised Sen. Kyl on federal matters such as Western water resources, Indian affairs and the Endangered Species Act. Smith drafted legislation related to Indian water settlements and the protection of threatened and endangered species on the Colorado River, all of which were enacted into law. Additionally, he was instrumental in securing appropriations in Energy and Water appropriations bills for water supply and flood control projects. At the end of the 111th Congress, Smith successfully ushered through Congress the Claims Resolution Act, which in part authorizes the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s $292 million water settlement as well as a $3.4 billion settlement of financial mismanagement claims brought by American Indians against the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Prior to joining Sen. Kyl, Smith served as deputy counsel for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. While there, he represented the State of Arizona in connection with Colorado River issues, Indian water settlements, and surface water and groundwater management. Smith also provided legal advice to the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources during negotiations with other Colorado River Basin states concerning the Colorado River’s operating criteria as well as the United States’ Colorado River treaty obligation with Mexico. Smith has also been an associate for Robbins & Green, P.A. (now part of Jennings Strouss).
"Jon’s extensive experience in dealing with both sides of Capitol Hill and the substantive expertise he gained working in the Executive Branch on energy issues adds to our natural resource and energy capabilities for both onshore and offshore development," said Mottur. "Jon's legislative and executive experience will prove extremely valuable to clients who are navigating the halls of Congress or trying to obtain administrative approvals for project development."
Most recently, Hrobsky served as director of policy and government affairs for the National Oceans Industries Association (NOIA) where he helped craft policy for the offshore oil, gas and renewable industry for major issues affecting energy production ranging from the expansion of offshore energy exploration to addressing the Deepwater Drilling Moratorium. He worked directly with Congress to shape legislation and provide technical insights.
Prior to joining NOIA, Hrobsky spent more than six years serving in high-level positions within the Department of the Interior. Hrobsky served as the second-ranking position within the Mineral Management Service where he oversaw the management of more than 1,700 employees and worked on nearly every significant policy matter involving offshore energy development. In addition, from 2002 through 2007, Hrobsky served as the deputy director and Congressional liaison for the Department of the Interior's Office of the Congressional and Legislative Affairs where he represented the secretary and other departmental officials on a wide variety of issues associated with the Bureau of Land Management, the Office of Surface Mining and the Minerals Management Service.
Early in his career, Hrobsky served as legislative director for Congressman Bob Schaffer and held a variety of positions within the Office of Scott McInnis.