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about us

The Mallard Group, LLC is a full service government relations firm specializing in interaction with decision makers at all levels of local, state and federal government. We know that government policies and actions can affect changes to your business, non-profit, trade association or municipality at a moment’s notice, and we pride ourselves on keeping our clients ahead of the curve. Reaction, while necessary at times, comes second to proactive involvement with government. Let us present your message to decision makers and educate government representatives about your needs and abilities.  We maintain subject matter experts in the fields of Congressional Relations, Governmental Affairs and Association Management to best suit the needs of our clients and develop teams of experts specifically to address client challenges and goals.  Our specialties include government and legislative affairs, business consulting, policymaker education and outreach, legislative tracking and drafting, association management, interaction with Members of the U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate and Administration, as well as Members of the Texas State House, State Senate and Texas executive offices.

The Mallard Group, LLC is a team of proactive problem solvers. Each member of our team has extensive political and public policy experience, and our unique relationships provide clients with unparalleled insight into the workings of the highest levels of the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch, including federal departments and regulatory agencies. Our professionals are recognized for their strategic and direct counsel, distinctive style, comprehensive tact, proactive determination, discretion, and most importantly, their ability to get the job done.

With offices in both Texas and Washington, D.C., we are able to provide consistent, personalized service to our clients by offering a genuine presence when and where we are needed. We pride ourselves on being attentive to our clients in a timely manner and have the flexibility to represent our clients in a variety of capacities on a moment’s notice.

We believe that our clients are what drive us, and we have distinguished ourselves by working only for clients who promote worthy causes. By taking the high road and doing what is right, we have developed stellar reputations throughout both the private and public sectors; a strategy that has proven successful for our clients.

The Mallard Group was formed in 2007 when Walt Smith left federal public service and took his love for assisting people to the private sector. Prior to leaving Washington, Mr. Smith worked on Capitol Hill for members of the Texas Delegation, Appropriations and Agriculture Committee Members from Texas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and served as a liaison between USDA and other federal water agencies and departments. Since beginning his private practice, Mr. Smith has had the fortune to work with clients ranging from trade associations and public universities, to chambers of commerce and foreign governments. The size and scope of these clients and their priorities have varied greatly from small businesses looking to change a specific bill provision, to countries developing stronger relationships with the U.S.  However, one common thread has connected each of them, personalized service, which directly impacted their priorities and goals.


Walt Smith, Founder/President

Walt Smith has nearly two decades of experience working in both the government and government-relations field representing various clients before Congress, the administration, and state and local governments. He has worked with major land grant universities, national scientific societies, agricultural policy professionals, national trade associations, a top 50 law firm, chambers of commerce, municipalities and private businesses. This dedication to customer service on behalf of clients and subject matter expertise, coupled with his relationships with policymakers earned Mr. Smith the designation as the number 17 “Rising Star” on the 2013 by Capitol Insider.

Before entering the private sector, Mr. Smith worked in both the Legislative and Executive Branches of the federal government. He began his career on Capitol Hill intern, later moving on to the House Agriculture Committee, under the leadership of then-Chairman, Larry Combest of Texas.

After working for the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Bill Barrett, until his retirement, he represented the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) on environmental policy issues before leaving to serve as a Congressional Liaison at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this role, Mr. Smith led negotiations of provisions related to everything from water, conservation and agriculture program assistance, to research and nutrition during the passage and implementation of the 2002 Farm Bill. Mr. Smith then headed back to Capitol Hill to work for the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. As the Appropriations Associate for Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX), then-Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Walt served as the Chairman’s liaison to the Committee for almost five years. Mr. Smith was the primary staffer for multiple issues including the Corp of Engineers, energy, transportation, natural resources, agriculture, environment, trade, taxes, finance and small business. It was during this time Mr. Smith gained a reputation within the delegation as a subject matter expert in the realm of appropriations and worked directly with many local governments and communities to identify, pursue, and achieve outcomes to their benefit. Specifically, Mr. Smith served the Chairman as his liaison working on issues of the highest importance related to crisis management including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Walt left public service in 2006 and founded The Mallard Group, LLC, a full service federal relations firm.

Maintaining strong relationships in Washington and Austin, Mr. Smith has become a trusted advisor on issues related to agriculture and water on both a personal and professional level. He currently serves on a number of advisory committees for Members of Congress and the Texas Legislature.

Walt has been actively involved in many charitable groups and organizations in both Texas and Washington. A resident of Dripping Springs, he serves in organizations such as the Lions Club, the DS Wildgame Dinner, and the DSISD Education Foundation Board of Directors.  He has also served as executive office in the past for a number of groups including the Texas State Society of Washington, the National Capitol Texas A&M Club, the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball and the Taste of The South Charity Gala. 





The federal government can be a complex and confusing system to understand and navigate. If you are interested in affecting change in government, you need to know how the legislative and regulatory processes work in Washington. The guidance of someone familiar with those processes is imperative in helping you to develop and implement strategies that will enable you to achieve your goals. Not only must these strategies be viable, but also they must be carried out in a thoughtful way through networks trusted by decision-makers. This is where the Mallard Group shines. Our team will guide you every step of the way though the minefields often associated with Washington by delivering strategic advice and action for our clients in order to accomplish successful outcomes.


We will help you bring together people, organizations, companies or industries to pursue a strategy in support of a common purpose, thereby amplifying your power to achieve your goals.


The Mallard Group prepares and coordinates appropriate correspondence to legislative members, relevant committees, advisory boards and administration officials as necessary on your behalf.


Our team helps our clients identify and target their objectives so that we may aggressively and proactively pursue beneficial legislative and regulatory outcomes via various strategic initiatives.


The Mallard Group identifies and pursues opportunities by coordinating, preparing, submitting and monitoring legislative requests. We work with clients to oversee and meet important guidelines and deadlines.


Our team provides full-service management of client needs including arranging visits, meetings, scheduling, logistics, and coordination and assistance with preparation of necessary materials. We provide clients with copies of relevant documents including amendments, reports, analysis, rules and regulations, and other essential information to help you achieve your objectives.


We offer daily monitoring of all relevant legislative and policy issues and actions of importance, and provide an analysis of their impact on client objectives. Our clients receive continual updates on hearings, briefings and administrative meetings.


The Mallard Group offers tailored services for Non-Profits seeking representation. We will aid you in association management, meeting and event planning and execution, and development of necessary materials. We will help you leverage your resources in the most efficient way possible.


Our team promotes clients and staff as subject matter experts and develops relationships of importance on your behalf in order to achieve your objectives.


We foster relationship building and development between stakeholders, decision makers, trade association officials and memberships at the intersection of business and government.


The Mallard Group serves as our clients' official representative by establishing and maintaining relationships with federal legislators and administration representatives. Our team serves as a liaison and first point of contact between our clients and relevant federal and state officials and their staff for both authorization and appropriations issues.



Strategic Alliances

The right partnerships are critical in determining whether a client’s objective can be achieved. Relationships are as important as processes in Washington, and reputation matters. There is always strength in numbers, and we pride ourselves on aligning with people who have a proven track record of success. We have developed a cadre of experts with a wide range of experience in several arenas. These alliances allow us to build a team to perfectly suit a client’s needs. 


Doucet Consulting Solutions, LLC

Shane Doucet is a Principal at Doucet Consulting Solutions LLC, a public policy and public affairs firm. Over the last 17 years, he has represented clients in a variety of areas including health care, public pensions, law enforcement, trade, national security and high-tech. He has been a leading voice on behalf of his clients on issues related to the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.   Mr. Doucet has specialized in work to promote health and wellness measures before Congress, the Administration, HHS, CMS, EEOC and the NAIC. Additionally, during his time at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), he led successful coalitions bringing diverse sides together on health care reform and tax reform.

Mr. Doucet has moderated panels comprised of top union, business and trade association representatives on the impact of health reform and has been a featured speaker for over 250 CFOs on health and wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  He has also been a featured speaker for such organizations as the Population Health Alliance, American Heart Association, National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, and California Employee Retirement System Educational Forum. He has also written opinion pieces in The Hill newspaper.  



The Randel group, llc

The Randel Group is a full-service government relations firm offering clients assistance with Congress and the Administration.  The Randel Group has extensive experience working in Washington, DC to help clients achieve their government relations objectives. 

Lowell currently serves as President of The Randel Group, LLC, a government relations firm in the Washington, DC area. He has over 20 years of public and private sector experience working on food and agriculture policy issues in Washington, DC.  Prior to founding The Randel Group, LLC, Lowell served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and also served as Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Research, Education and Economics Mission Area at USDA. 

Prior to joining USDA, Lowell was Senior Associate for Meyers and Associates, a Washington based government relations firm. He also held the positions of Assistant Legislative Director for AESOP Enterprises, an agriculture focused government relations firm in Washington and Coordinator of Trade and Federal Issues at the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Lowell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Development, both from Texas A&M University.  He also received a Juris Doctorate from George Mason University.



Our clients are what drive The Mallard Group, and we are nothing without credibility and trust. Each client we serve has offered us new challenges and opportunities, and working in concert with them has allowed us to achieve many beneficial outcomes. Testimonials offer an endorsement of trust to inspire your confidence in us. Please take a moment to read what our clients have to say about their experience working with our team. We look forward to working with you.