AJ Donelson


AJ is co-founder of the Advocom Group, which advises clients on opportunities and challenges which lie at the intersection of business, government and public relations. Advocom Group brings together cutting-edge advocacy and communications techniques and talent to guide brands, businesses, organizations and causes. Using this unique approach, Advocom Group consultants devise powerful strategies that increase a client’s potential to create positive outcomes. Since its start in 2011, Advocom Group has achieved success for its clients in Washington, at the state level and in international markets.

AJ is an attorney, business leader and public affairs professional, who has built a reputation of trust and success over his 35 plus year career in Washington, D.C. Drawing on his business and legal training, he is an accomplished business manager for both large and small companies. He is an experienced government and public relations strategist, as well as an effective communications, public affairs and business consultant. He has advised clients on both domestic and international opportunities, including many of the most high-profile public policy issues over the past three decades.

Early in his career, AJ headed Fortune 500 company 3M’s Washington office. As the company’s top Washington representative, he advised 3M’s CEO and senior management on federal legislation, issues management, grassroots, trade association activities and international public affairs. He represented the company before Congress and the Administration on issues such as trade, transportation, environment, product liability and regulatory issues. He chaired and served as 3M’s representative on government relations committees and task forces of national trade associations and coalitions such as the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, Chemical Specialty Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
AJ advised 3M’s European and Asia/Pacific Public Affairs Committees on strategies to build and enhance 3M public affairs capabilities globally. This work frequently took him to 3M offices and subsidiaries in Europe and Asia to develop public affairs strategies aligned with the company’s global business goals. Here in Washington, he represented 3M international business in discussions with the Commerce Department and State Department as well as with Washington, D.C.-based international organizations.

He later became a partner in an independent public relations firm focused on litigation communications consulting, successfully managing a multi-year litigation communications project for the firm’s largest client. He managed client teams implementing national and international litigation communications strategies related to mass torts, antitrust and environmental disputes. Under his leadership, the firm quickly grew to become a nationally recognized firm in its field. AJ and his partners subsequently sold the company to a publicly traded global marketing communications company.

Following this endeavor, AJ joined one of the country’s preeminent grassroots consulting firms as partner and chief operating officer. Over the next 10 years, he managed the firm’s staff growth and geographic expansion, including the negotiation and sale of the firm to a publicly traded company. In addition to managing the firm’s administration and operations, AJ advised private-sector and non-profit clients on public policy issues, crisis communications and business development. His clients included firms in financial services, global manufacturing, technology and government contracting, along with non-profit advocacy coalitions.

AJ is an attorney and member of the District of Columbia Bar. He received his law degree from the University of Florida and his undergraduate degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University.