As National Journal reported on Dec. 17, Penny Lee, then a senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told colleagues she was leaving Capitol Hill for a job in the private sector, but didn’t name her new employer. Lobbying firm Venn Strategies announced today that it hired Lee as a principal. Lee “has a better sense of the political chessboard than anyone I’ve met working in this town,” said Sandra Swirski, co-founder and principal at Venn, a majority female lobbying shop. Prior to work for Reid, Lee was executive director of the Democratic Governor’s Association and before that, communications director for Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.

— Bara Vaida