Meet Justin Tanner, Former Obama White House Appointee

Justin Tanner is a seasoned business development, government relations and public policy professional.  A career public servant, he has spent nearly a decade designing and implementing key programs and policies at every level of government.

In 2015, Mr. Tanner was appointed by President Barack Obama as Associate Director for Legislative, Education & Intergovernmental Affairs at the United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency.  In this capacity, he managed several areas including: communications/public affairs, external relations, research, education and stakeholder outreach, and was responsible for maintaining positive relationships with members of Congress, the White House and the Office of Management and Budget. He also coordinated the agency’s intergovernmental activity and managed its strategic alliances portfolio, which included relationships with public/private sector entities, trade associations, academic institutions, community development organizations, as well as Federal, state and local government officials.

Tanner previously served as a Senior Advisor with the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).  Within SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, where he worked to assist thousands of small, disadvantaged and women-owned businesses as they competed, annually, for over $350 billion in federal prime/subcontract awards. He also worked to implement a number of key rules and regulations, as mandated by Congress, in the Small Business Act and other relevant statutory provisions.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Mr. Tanner served as an external affairs/policy aide for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, where he helped manage the City of Atlanta’s relationships at the state, local and federal levels of government. In the first two years of the mayor’s initial term, he worked in the Mayor’s Office of Communications. Before joining City Hall, he served as Director of New Media on Mayor Reed’s 2009 citywide campaign and 2010 Inaugural Planning Committee.

A Georgia native, Mr. Tanner received a bachelor of business administration degree from Howard University and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.