Texas-born, Austin-based, and nationally recognized, governmental affairs specialist Dean McWilliams’ lobbying, campaigning and fundraising skills are drawn from his twenty years experience working in the Texas Legislature.
In 2005 the Dallas Morning News ranked McWilliams one of Texas’ top grossing lobbyists. Capitol Inside, the insiders’ news source of the Texas Legislature, has listed McWilliams as one of the top ten Impact Players in the industry.
McWilliams came to the attention of national media during President George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign. As a Bush Pioneer, McWilliams raised over $100,000 for the campaign, garnering coverage of his fundraising efforts on CNN.
Honored to consistently serve leaders at all levels, McWilliams was a member of the Honorary Committee for the 54th Presidential Inauguration, and served as a member of the Bush National Finance Committee. In 2004, McWilliams first earned membership on Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Lone Star Council and Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst’s Platinum Council. He has chaired fundraising events for U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, during her term as Agriculture Commissioner. At the strategic level, McWilliams has worked on federal issues with, among others, Karl Rove and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.
Dean and his wife Andrea, along with State Representative Phil King, served as Texas co-chairs for Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee during the 2007-08 presidential cycle. Both Dean and Andrea are members of the Waterloo President’s Council.
Today McWilliams is the co-founder of McWilliams, a full-service firm which opened its doors when the husband and wife team of Dean and Andrea combined their talents and experience to form what has become a respected alliance, trusted at the local, state and national level.
Government Experience: Having worked in the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives, McWilliams is familiar with the inner workings of both sides of the Capitol rotunda.
From 1993 to 1995, McWilliams worked on legislative issues in the Senate for former Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff, the past chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. In addition to handling natural resources and budget-related issues for Lieutenant Governor Ratliff, McWilliams also served on the Lieutenant Governor’s Task Force on Prison Overcrowding and the Legislative Budget Board Task Force on Health Care Reform.
During the 74th and 75th Texas legislative sessions, McWilliams served as Chief of Staff for Senator Michael Galloway. McWilliams handled all major legislative initiatives for the Senator, including all legislation relating to the Senate Intergovernmental Relations, State Affairs and Health & Human Services Committees. He also oversaw the appointment and confirmation of all gubernatorial appointments from the Senator’s Southeast Texas District. Tirelessly traveling the state during the 1994 Texas Supreme Court, Senate and House of Representatives races, McWilliams gained key campaign experience. During that time he worked with the Texas Civil Justice League, the largest state tort reform organization, and the Texas Medical Association, the state’s largest professional trade association, successfully gathering support for conservative candidates.
McWilliams served as Chief of Staff to Representative John Shields during the 73rd Texas legislative session, where his work included substantive rewrites of the Texas Insurance Code and major economic development initiatives. He first began working at the Capitol in 1991, employed by his hometown State Representative Barry Telford of DeKalb, who had held the coveted chairmanship of the House Calendars Committee. Prior to working at the Capitol, Dean worked in the litigation section of the Dallas-based law firm Hughes & Luce.
Family and Community: A proud fifth generation Texan, Eagle Scout and graduate of Texas A&M University, McWilliams now resides in Austin’s Old Enfield, where he and wife Andrea are raising their three children in an elegantly restored home.
McWilliams is the Travis County Republican Precinct Chair representing Old Enfield, an historic neighborhood listed on the National Historical Register by the U.S. Department of Interior. He is a member of the Knights of the Symphony and the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine.
The McWilliams’ are generous philanthropists who were named to the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Austin American Statesman Fortunate 500 lists. They attend Hyde Park Baptist Church and serve as Sunday school teachers.