Robert Smith advises clients on legislative and government relations, with an emphasis on obtaining funding via the congressional appropriations process, federal grants, and through direct marketing and sales to federal agencies. Prior to joining Venable, Mr. Smith served as federal affairs representative for Sun Microsystems. He represented Sun, one of the world’s largest technology companies, on numerous legislative and regulatory matters including domestic and international tax, broadband, employee compensation and benefits, accounting and export controls. He was active in directing Sun’s participation in major technology trade associations, coalitions and congressional working groups and was the company’s prime liaison before key political party organizations. Previously, Mr. Smith worked on Capitol Hill as legislative director for Congressman Wes Watkins (R-OK), focusing on trade and tax issues related to the congressman’s membership on the Ways & Means Committee, and as the military legislative aide to Armed Services Committee member Congressman Joel Hefley (R-CO), where he worked on defense procurement and military construction issues. Mr. Smith maintains an extensive network of contacts on Capitol Hill and in the Bush Administration. Mr. Smith served in the Official Proceedings division of the 2004 Republican National Convention. He is a member of the High Tech Coalition on Trade Promotion Authority, which was successful in getting the TPA enacted in 2002, and the High Tech Coalition on China. Mr. Smith spoke on a panel at BIO 2005 regarding the congressional appropriations process. He also spoke on behalf of the High Tech Coalition on Trade Promotion Authority before an audience of congressional staff. Mr. Smith recently spoke on behalf of the High Tech Coalition on TPA before an audience of congressional staff.