David Rehr is Professor and Director of the Center for Business Civic Engagement (cbce.gmu.edu) at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He teaches Advocacy, Nonprofit leadership, and Understanding Special Interest Groups.
Professor Rehr has over 25 years of experience in advocacy, governance, and public policy. He is one of the nation’s top authorities on communicating with the U.S. Congress and is an expert in the nonprofit association sector.
He recently released, “Cutting through Congressional Clutter – Proven Ideas and Tips to Gain Influence and be Heard,” “How to Lead Better Meetings and Enhance Your Organizational Effectiveness", eBooks offering proven tips to understanding how Congress works and how to make meetings work better. He is also the author of “Creating the Right Association Culture,” examining ideas on how to create an association culture that position’s the enterprise for success. In April, Rehr released, “8 Traits of an Exceptional Association CEO,” gleamed from research, life experiences and interactions with some of the most successful association leaders in the country. Dr. Rehr released in 2019, The measurement mandate: How associations measure their Performance, researching the state of association performance indicators. Rehr will be releasing his next eBook on branding and positioning you organization, issues and yourself soon.
Professor Rehr previously served as the President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). There he was a strong advocate for radio and television broadcasters—meeting with policymakers, testifying before Congress, and bringing innovation to the organization. At NAB, Professor Rehr was a leading advocate for innovation and advancement in the broadcast business, spearheading a multimillion-dollar technology advocacy program for broadcasting, leading the TV industry’s $1.2 billion digital television (DTV) transition marketing campaign, and initiating Radio 2020, an initiative that ensured radio’s value would be recognized well into the future through the Radio Heard Here campaign.
Before joining the NAB, Professor Rehr was President of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). Under his leadership, NBWA’s visibility in the advocacy community soared, and the association was ranked as one of the top ten most influential lobbying organizations by Fortune magazine. He started his career in advocacy on the staff of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), after working as a professional staff member to the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee and for former member of Congress, the Honorable Vin Weber (MN).
Professor Rehr has been named to Washington Life magazine’s Power 100 list and has been listed as a Top Association Lobbyist by one of Congress’ “must read” publications, The Hill. He has also been featured in Beachum’s Guide to Key Lobbyists and has been named one of the top 20 most influential people in radio by Radio Ink magazine.
Professor Rehr is the author of “The Congressional Communications Report,” now in its third edition, landmark research on communication methods and preferences of congressional offices, their staff, and those working to influence them., now in its 3rd edition. He is also the principal researcher, “The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act – Five Years Later” (a review of lobbying disclosure laws) and the “2013 Factors of Influence Report” (which measured lobbying firm effectiveness). In January 2013, Professor Rehr released the results of the “Social Election Media,” which looked at the impact of social media on the presidential election. Professor Rehr also authored research on “Congressional Attitudes Toward American Economic Institutions” and co-authored “Trends in Business Political Action Committees: 2013-2014 Election Cycle.” Rehr also released his first book, From Analog to Digital Television – The Greatest Public Relations Initiative in TV’s History in 2018, documenting how the historic technology transition took place.
Professor Rehr has presented to leaders all over the world, including senior executives at the Business Roundtable on communicating with the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on “Branding your Association,” and “Think Big and Deliver – Innovation” before Equifax Corporation’s global leadership retreat. Professor Rehr has appeared or has been quoted in major U.S. media outlets, including FOX News, CNBC, Sinclair, Fox Business, and the Wall Street Journal. He has also appeared internationally on Canal Plus (French Television), Canadian Radio Corporation, on one Ankara English television.
Prior to joining the faculty of the Schar School, Professor Rehr was Senior Associate Dean and Professor as the Antonin Scalia Law School at GMU. He started his academic career as Professor, at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM).
Dr. Rehr founded and serves as CEO of TransparaGov, Inc., a privately held company with a mission to bring transparency and real-time information tools to state and local government leaders to encourage stewardship of resources. He is also President of the TransparaGov Educational Foundation.
Areas of Research
- Interest Group - Competitive Forces, Economic Incentives, Advocacy methods and practices
- Nonprofit Management - Association and Nonprofit operations
- State and Local Government - Transparency
- Legislative - Communication with the Congress
- Diversity and Inclusion - Association Diversity and Inclusion practices