Jack O’Donnell: Master of Politics and Progress

As seen in Forbes magazine.

In early 2024, Forbes spotlighted our own Jack O’Donnell as a Buffalo Business Leader. As the subtitle said, “From startups to major economic development projects and Fortune 500 companies, O’Donnell & Associates skillfully guides organizations through New York’s Byzantine maze of government regulations.”

With over two decades in government affairs, Jack O’Donnell, managing partner of O’Donnell & Associates (OD&A),Jack O'Donnell in front of green foliage from Forbes feature proves you don’t have to fight City Hall—you can work with it. His rare combination of keen business acumen and deep, strategic relationships with elected officials and government decision makers allows him to offer smart solutions to those dealing with state and federal rules, regulations, and legislation.

O’Donnell caught the political bug early, working on his father, Supreme Court Justice John O’Donnell’s first campaign when he was only 5. O’Donnell began his career building valuable connections working for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York’s last four governors.

Today, O’Donnell is well known around the hallways in the State Capitol in his own right, recently included among City & State New York’s 2023 Albany Power 100. His ability to deliver results by building coalitions, marshalling facts, and understanding the intersection of press, politics, and government is vital to his clients that include Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits, biotech, fintech, and health care entities throughout New York.

“We specialize in overcoming hurdles that would have otherwise taken years.”

“I act as a translator of sorts. Businesses often become frustrated when government doesn’t understand how their policies are standing in the way of development or job creation, or worse, threaten to shut down business and most don’t have the time or knowhow to navigate the Byzantine rules that are New York State. We help bridge that gap, educate decision makers on how a proposal will benefit their constituents. I help bring all parties together to make a positive impact,” says O’Donnell, whose efforts supporting vulnerable populations earned him a spot among CSNY’s 2022 Responsible 100 list. “We specialize in overcoming hurdles that would have otherwise taken years.”

Intelligence Guided by Experience

When Alstom, a global leader in the transportation sector, was competing for a $2 billion contract with Amtrak, its staff reached out to OD&A. O’Donnell drew on his strong ties in D.C. and New York to overcome obstacles, eventually securing a $30 million commitment from state officials as well as strategic outreach from New York elected officials. As a result, Alstom is building the first high-speed train made by American labor.

Another client, a Medicaid transportation manager, relied on the OD&A team to expand its outreach beyond its home base. A successful lobbying effort resulted in the creation of a new statewide program, and the client now serves all 62 New York counties.

“As a boutique firm, we provide clients with the highest level of service from senior staff and subject matter experts,” says O’Donnell. “Two things set us apart: our intelligence, guided by experience and our commitment to the highest ethical standards.”

“Two things set us apart: our intelligence, guided by experience and our commitment to the highest ethical standards.”

“The ever-changing government landscape is challenging to navigate,” says Shannon Patch, vice president of government affairs for the global hospitality and entertainment company Delaware North. “We are able to manage change quickly and effectively with top New York lobbyist Jack O’Donnell and his talented team at O’Donnell & Associates. Their intelligence and expertise deliver the results we need to do business.”

Receive Jack’s Monday Morning Memo, award-winning weekly news and insights on New York and DC politics, directly in your inbox early every Monday morning. Subscribe below.