Ben Nelson has managed to find post-Senate employment.
The former Nebraska senator, a Democrat, is taking over as CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and joining the public affairs firm Agenda as a “senior advisor.”
The association said Nelson will act as the group’s primary advocate and chief spokesperson, including outreach to the federal government and international organizations.
“Senator Nelson’s impressive credentials and deep knowledge of state insurance regulation are simply unmatched,” association president Jim Donelon said in a press release. “His rare and valuable combination of experience in insurance and government will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
In the release, Nelson described the job as a homecoming. He was the association’s executive vice president and chief of staff in the early 1980′s. Before that he had been director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance and head of the Central National Insurance Group.
Also joining Agenda as a senior advisor is former Agriculture Secretary and North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer, a Republican.
In a press release, Agenda announced that the two will be “engaged on a daily basis with Agenda’s creative approaches to advocacy” and will head the firm’s newly created advisory board.
“We are excited and privileged to have Senator Nelson and Governor Schafer join our team,” Agenda partner Craig Pattee said in the release. “These guys reflect our business strategy. They know how to work across the aisle to get things done and understand the nexus between modern grassroots advocacy, governors and states and the federal government.”
The firm cited Nelson’s expertise in defense, veterans issues, agriculture and biotech.
Ethics rules prohibit former senators from acting as federal lobbyists, but Nelson’s “advocacy” and “advisory” roles apparently fall outside the scope of those restrictions.
Nelson did not respond to a request for comment.