Jon S. Bouker

Partner and Government Relations Practice Co-Leader
Jon brings extensive experience in the US Congress, which he puts to work serving clients on a wide variety of general business and government relations matters.
Jon Bouker, Partner, Washington DC at Arent Fox LLP

He represents clients before Congress, the White House and federal agencies (particularly the General Services Administration), the government of the District of Columbia, and surrounding counties. Jon is the Co-Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Client Work

Jon’s work on local projects has included:

  • Passage of the District of Columbia Soccer Stadium Development Act of 2014 authorizing DC United’s proposed new soccer stadium and surrounding mixed-use development
  • Passage of the Transportation Network Services Innovation Act of 2014 allowing “ride sharing” and other innovative transportation options in Washington, DC
  • Representing an education reform coalition in the enactment of the District of Columbia Education Research Practice Partnership Establishment Act
  • Representing a coalition of national capital arts organizations in the enactment of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities Funding and Restructuring Amendment Act
  • Passage of the historic “Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act,” which transfers large parcels of land, including Poplar Point on the Anacostia River and Reservation 13 adjacent to RFK Stadium, from the federal government to the District government for economic development
  • Authorization of and funding for the first phase of the $4.5 billion Department of Homeland Security Headquarters consolidation
  • Passage of the $1.8 billion Southeast Federal Center (now known as “The Yards”)
  • Financing the District’s $700 million stadium for the Washington Nationals
  • Passage of $50 million revenue bond to renovate the Verizon Center
  • Securing $40 million for Arena Stage’s redevelopment in Southwest Washington
  • Approval of $40 million in tax increment financing (TIF) for the Corcoran Gallery of Art
  • Approval of $10 million in TIF for the Shakespeare Theatre
  • Appropriation of $5 million to support the construction of a new state of the art animal care facility in the District of Columbia
  • Passage of $5 million TIF for the development of the Hamilton restaurant
  • Redevelopment of Union Station
  • Redevelopment of the Old Post Office
  • Disposition of the West Heating Plant in Georgetown
  • Reauthorization of local requirements for solar energy usage
  • Passage of legislation to eliminate double taxation of partnership income in the District of Columbia
  • Location of the Department of Justice in NOMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue)
  • Approval of the lease for the University of the District of Columbia Community College
  • Extension of the Coast Guard lease at Buzzard Point
  • Authorization of the Department of Defense Joint Medical Command Headquarters in Northern Virginia
  • Disposition of the Randall School to the Corcoran Gallery of Art
  • Preparation of the TIF for the District’s Convention Center Hotel
  • Authorization of numerous revenue bond financing projects, property disposition, and charter school financings before the DC mayor and city council
  • Advocating numerous projects before officials in Montgomery County (Maryland) and Northern Virginia

Jon’s work on national projects has included:

  • Representing major rideshare, office share, bike share, and scooter share companies
  • Representing a prominent coalition of financial technology (fintech) companies
  • Passage of increased appropriations for and reauthorization of the $2 billion Ryan White CARE Act on behalf of the 51 cities and more than 300 providers (including rural and faith-based clinics) most directly impacted by HIV/AIDS
  • Assisting the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in its successful effort to obtain a grant of more than $102 million in federal stimulus funding under the Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
  • Passage of employment training and placement provisions in the Violence Against Women Act
  • Advocating for national and local poverty reduction programs
  • Securing increased funding for large regional medical centers, multistate consortia, and telemedicine projects
  • Obtaining federal funding for major national museums
  • Representing athletic conferences and universities before Congress and the Administration
  • Advocating increases in federal Indian housing funds for a large multistate tribe
  • Assisting one of the nation’s largest information companies win preemption of adverse state laws
  • Numerous congressional investigations

Previous Work

In the US House of Representatives, Jon served as chief counsel and legislative director to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) while at the same time serving as minority counsel to Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), then ranking member of the House Government Reform Committee. Jon’s primary duty on the committee was his role as the Democratic staff director for the House Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, the subcommittee with federal legislative jurisdiction over the nation’s capital. In his work as the House Democrats’ primary staff member for District of Columbia matters, Jon played a central role in developing, negotiating, and passing historic legislation to spur the District’s revitalization, including passage of the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997.

Jon also advised Congresswoman Norton on all economic development issues, including passage of TIF and revenue bond financing for the District of Columbia; an act to allow the issuance of bonds to construct the District’s new convention center; the Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act; authorization to construct the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters in Washington, DC; funding to build the New York Avenue Metro stop; location of the Department of Transportation headquarters and Homeland Security Headquarters in DC; and reopening Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and keeping DC open for business after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Jon also served as Congresswoman Norton’s lead staff person in shepherding the District’s annual budget through the House and Senate.

Professional Activities

Jon is an adjunct professor of law at American University’s Washington College of Law, where he taught the legislation course from 1999 to 2008, and an adjunct professor of law teaching State and Local Government Law at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke Law School, where he is the current chair. He is also the former chair of DC Appleseed, as well as the former chair of DC Vote and the District of Columbia Affairs Section of the DC Bar. In addition, he has served on the boards of the DC Public Library Foundation and the National Women’s History Museum. 

Jon is co-chair of the District of Columbia Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission that recommends candidates for the US District Court, US Attorney, and other federal agencies; co-Chair, along with DC Attorney General Karl Racine, of the Council for Court Excellence task force on securing local control of the District’s prison populations; and a past member of and current pro bono counsel to the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission. Jon is also a Trustee of the Federal City Council and a member of the Mayor’s legal advisory team for DC statehood. 

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Jon received the DC Bar’s 2023 William J. Brennan Jr. Award, presented biennially to a DC Bar member who has demonstrated exceptional achievement and made a significant impact to the pursuit and quality of equal justice. Jon was recognized for his tireless advocacy for access to justice, especially for the District’s most vulnerable population.

The Washington Business Journal has recognized Jon as a Top Washington Lawyer in the categories of “Young Guns” and “State and Local Lobbying.” Chambers USA has also recognized Jon as a leading attorney in its Government Relations category (2019-24).

Jon and ArentFox Schiff are the recipients of DC Appleseed’s Community Service Award for contributions to DC voting rights and the CAEAR Coalition’s Partnership Award for work on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS.