Practice Chair

Zachary S. Pfister

Zachary S. Pfister

Policy Director


Go-to political strategist for House Democratic engagement. Well-respected advocate on Capitol Hill. Deep knowledge of financial services policy.

With over 17 years of experience in government, politics, and advocacy, Zach Pfister has built a large network of personal relationships with his former peers on Capitol Hill that extend across the House Democratic Caucus. Zach’s reputation as a trusted intermediary and advocate, coupled with his substantive policy expertise and political instinct, have created a long record of success in shaping client outcomes in Congress. As co-chair of Brownstein's financial services practice, Zach has extensive experience in cooperative finance, agricultural finance, retail banking, payments technology, and housing.

Zach leverages his experience serving for moderate members of Congress from competitive districts to engage vital decision-makers who make or break legislation, now more than ever. Regarded as a straight shooter by colleagues and clients alike, Zach’s solutions-driven approach offers policymakers viable solutions for real-world challenges. The ultimate utility player, Zach’s advocacy and expertise extend well beyond his practice group into the pharmaceutical industry, veterans’ health services sector, agribusiness, and niche technology issues in the homeland security space.

Zach creates lasting bonds between clients and stakeholders across the Democratic Caucus from leadership to committee chairs to senior staff and tailors client messaging to the perspectives of inter-caucus coalitions, including the Blue Dogs, New Dems and House Leadership. A prolific fundraiser for Democrats, he devotes significant time to supporting the party’s future generation of leaders and positions clients before rising stars as Congress continues to experience a generational shift.

Zach served as legislative director for Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC), in various positions for Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), with Sen. Evan Bayh’s (D-IN) presidential exploratory committee and with the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform. After leaving Capitol Hill, Zach served as the senior House Democratic lobbyist for the Credit Union National Association.


Representative Matters

Recent Experience

  • Secured funding for a pilot loan loss reserve fund for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund Represented on behalf of a financial services technology company. This effort had been supported by the Obama administration but was never funded, and had been omitted from President Trump’s budget. Successfully advocated for the inclusion of $5 million forFY2020 Appropriations, which was carried during negotiations and included in final legislation.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, advised multiple clients on the process to becoming new lenders under the Paycheck Protection Program and engaged the Small Business Administration to secure their expedited approval.

  • Managed a successful campaign to save an industry pension plan on the verge of insolvency, resulting in a multi-billion dollar inclusion in an end-of-year spending bill. Required persistent engagement with House and Senate leadership from both parties and advocacy before senior leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Insights & Publications



  • M.A., 2007, Johns Hopkins University, Government and Political Communication
  • B.A., 2006, DePauw University, cum laude


Johns Hopkins Alumni Association

DePauw University - Washington, DC Alumni Regional Chapter

American Association of Government Relations Professionals

National Democratic Club

Indiana State Society

North Carolina State Society

Community Involvement


Member, Pratt Contemporaries, Enoch Pratt Free Library System

Former, Junior Council Member, Children’s National Medical Center

Former, Junior Board Member, National Capital Area Alzheimer’s Association 



Top Lobbyists, The Hill, 2020-2023