Roger’s career has spanned from working as a campaign field organizer to the highest levels of presidential politics and diplomatic service to serving as the CEO of a 5,000-employee global company operating in 40 countries. Add in his experience as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill, his service as Secretary of Revenue for the State of Wisconsin, his role as a senior advisor to the Biden 2020 presidential campaign and his years of teaching business and public policy at the University of Wisconsin, and the result is a unique and extraordinarily accomplished political and public policy resource for Putnam Partners’ political and corporate clients.
A graduate of Tulane University with a biology degree and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Roger started his career working for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee as an aide to then-Senator and Committee Chairman Joe Biden. He went on to serve in senior staff roles for three members of Congress and as a member of the famous Clinton 1992 presidential campaign “War Room” where he worked with future National Security Advisor Tony Lake as a foreign policy aide.
After the campaign, Roger served in the Clinton Administration as a Senior Advisor in the Africa Bureau of the State Department where he was deeply involved in some of the most crucial foreign policy matters of the time including helping Nelson Mandela’s rise to the presidency, as well as resolving America’s intervention in Somalia and ending genocide in Rwanda.
Roger was recruited by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to serve as a Regional Director for two years before then-Commerce Secretary Bill Daley asked him to return to the Clinton administration as the U.S. Commercial Envoy for Southern Africa, which is the Commerce Department’s highest politically appointed position in the US Foreign Commercial Service.
At the conclusion of the Clinton presidency, Roger launched a successful government affairs and corporate consulting business that was eventually acquired by Foley and Larder. He represented some of the top multinational companies, learning institutions and non-profits – such as Ford Motor Company, The Coca Cola Company, The Gap, Cargill, Merck, Johnson Controls, Elsevier, Iridium Satellite Company, Street Law, Inc., The Museum of African Art, the University of Kwa Zulu Natal and many others – helping them navigate regulatory and market challenges at home and abroad.
Roger was asked once again to return to government service by Governor Jim Doyle to serve as Secretary of Revenue for the State of Wisconsin, where he managed over $32 billion annually for the state. Under his tenure, the agency navigated through a complete digital transformation to a paperless environment, facilitated statewide electronic tax filing for the first time and created one of the most technically advanced tax agencies in the United States. Roger helped resolve a long list of litigation issues between businesses and the agency, and built a coalition of business and legislative leaders to rewrite almost two-thirds of the tax code. Even today, it is considered to be a great example of how business and government can work together to create a fairer and more efficient regulatory environment.
After Governor Doyle retired, Roger transitioned to a successful career in corporate America, serving as a Senior Vice President of LMI and then as President and CEO of Blumont, Inc. – two global companies that performed over $7 billion in services for the U.S. government, the British government and a number of other global clients.
In his wide-ranging international career, Roger has been a diplomat, chief executive, technical analyst, high level communicator, speech writer, campaign staffer and Capitol Hill leader. Roger is no stranger to taking on challenges and successfully resolving issues for clients and organizations.
In addition to work life, Roger also believes in contributing to his community. As an MBA graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Business, he gave back to the program by teaching Strategy and Business Communications to MBA students for over 10 years. He is currently teaching Leadership and Strategic Management as an Adjunct Professor at the La Follette School for Public Policy.
Roger has also served as an elected School Board member and as a board member for several organizations including currently serving on the board of directors of Ascendium Education Group, Inc., one of the largest student loan companies and education philanthropies in the United States. Roger also served as a Board member at the Wisconsin School of Business and currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the La Follette School of Public Policy at the University of Wisconsin.