Rhett Dawson

Rhett Dawson

Senior Advisor

Rhett brings to the Ervin Graves team a breadth of experience—legislative and executive, corporate, and legal–in key leadership roles. He has seen the view from the perspective of the Senate Armed Services Committee Staff Director, technology trade group CEO, senior corporate legal officer, and attorney in private practice.

He served as President Ronald Reagan’s White House operations chief with a management portfolio from Staff Secretary to continuity of government to Air Force One. Before that, he was Executive Director of two presidential commissions, one on Department of Defense management, the other investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.

Rhett started his Capitol Hill career as Minority Counsel to the first Senate Intelligence Committee. He was part of the team investigating allegations of U.S. intelligence attempts to assassinate foreign leaders. His next stop was Senate Armed Services Committee, first as Counsel and after that Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the full committee.

For 15 years until he reached retirement age, Rhett was the President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). As CEO, he shaped a Hill game, forged global relationships, and was a leader instrumental in achieving a zero-tariff trade agreement. A recent book recounting ITI’s 100-year anniversary described his time as CEO as “impactful.”

“Not only did he successfully rebuild the organization and its missions in the face of these technology shifts, but Rhett steered ITI through an onslaught of unprecedented legislative, policy, diplomatic, and legal challenges, both domestically and internationally. Rhett’s efforts firmly established ITI as the world’s premier information technology and communications policy and standards voice.” (A Century of Innovation and Advocacy, A History of the Information Technology Industry Council, November 2023, Copyrighted)