Ben Kelahan, Partner
Ben brings nearly two decades of experience to Five Corners Strategies in coalition building, grassroots organizing, government relations, community engagement, and political consulting.
Ben has advised some of the world’s leading energy and real estate companies on land use permit approvals, legislative issues and development strategies all over the United States. He is a frequent speaker at industry and association conferences, providing insight on how companies can build public support for their development projects, legislative agendas and regulatory changes.
His engagement work in local communities, building and mobilizing coalitions, has supported the permit approval to build everything from wind farms, soccer stadiums and mixed-use urban redevelopment projects to hotels, power plants and gas drilling operations. His geographic portfolio of successful projects include urban cities and counties in Florida, New York and New Jersey to rural communities in Wyoming, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Ben started his career at the Tobacco Institute in the State Activities and Public Affairs departments before leading the state government relations and grassroots activities in the Southeast for Lorillard, a major tobacco manufacturer and leading brand holder. In this role, he worked in several state capitols to address product taxation and sales, use, and marketing restrictions on business and industry alongside retailers, wholesalers and other manufacturing interests. He also worked with industry teams on local ordinances and grassroots initiative and referendum campaigns.
Ben’s experience also includes directing operations for The Advocacy Group, an international lobbying network, and he managed state government relations and grassroots programs for The National Mentoring Partnership.
Ben lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and three children and preferred meeting location is a mountain trail or campsite.