Scott Nelson has spent the last two decades working at the intersection of policy, politics, and law, working as senior staff to a U.S. Senator, a Governor, a political appointee in the federal executive branch, on several political campaigns, and as a lawyer and lobbyist in private practice.
His practice has most recently focused on helping clients with complex federal policy issues, including risk mitigation and tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act, international provisions and elements impacting trade in what became the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, and various environmental, energy, and infrastructure finance policy issues.
Scott is also a member of the K&L Gates political law and government ethics team. He has helped clients develop enterprise-wide compliance programs for lobbying disclosure and political engagement at the federal level and in many states. He has co-edited several editions of “A Guide to Political and Lobbying Activities,” released periodically by K&L Gates.
Before returning to the private sector in 2014, Scott served as the jobs and economy policy advisor to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and was the policy director for the Governor’s 2010 campaign and the campaign coordinator for the Governor’s re-election in 2014. In the Governor's office, he managed the development and execution of the Governor's economic policy agenda, covering energy, tax, communications, consumer affairs, and economic development among other key policy issues.
Prior to joining the Governor's office, he previously spent nearly five years with K&L Gates, counseling clients on a range of regulatory and policy issues including tax, energy, trade, telecommunications, political law, and government ethics.
Before originally joining K&L Gates, Scott served on the staff and campaigns of U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan for several years, most recently as deputy chief of staff. He was also a political appointee in the Clinton administration at the U.S. Department of Energy. During law school, he was legal fellow in Governor Mark Warner's office and a work-study clerk at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia. Scott grew up in Corvallis, Oregon.
Prior to joining the firm, Scott was a principal/partner at his own law firm based in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon. In addition, he worked for Governor John Kitzhaber of Salem, Oregon as a jobs and economy policy advisor and policy director from 2010-2014. Scott was an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Portland offices for more than four years.