Ernest Baynard

Founder, Meridian Hill Strategies

Ernest C. Baynard IV, Advisory Board, has spent more than 20 years successfully building and managing a wide array of public affairs campaigns for a diverse group of clients. Prior to founding Meridian Hill Strategies in 2002, he served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the HUD Secretary and on the National Advance Staff of Vice President Al Gore. Baynard has also served as Communications Director for U.S. Representatives Mike Forbes (D-NY) and Mike Honda (D-CA). Additionally, he served as a guest lecturer on media and politics at the United States Military Academy, Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University.

With a strong focus on innovation and technology, Baynard and Meridian Hill Strategies work with some of the nation’s top companies, universities and organizations to create a powerful voice for them inside the Beltway. Over the past 21 years, Baynard has built an industry-leading public affairs firm that optimizes a diverse suite of professional services that enables its clients to win on critical federal issues and achieve success and rapid growth.  

As a lawyer and communications expert with a strong background in technology and coalition building, Baynard brings a diversified and innovative approach to his work. Baynard and his firm currently represent a number of innovative companies providing solutions to the U.S. government in the areas of defense, homeland security, transportation, trade, communications, clean energy, and health care. The firm also has a strong focus on leveraging a bipartisan, technology-driven approach to level the playing field and creating greater opportunity for underserved communities and persons. These efforts include a wide range of successful efforts to empower military spouses, veteran- and minority-owned companies, and many others. He and the firm have also built and managed some of the most impactful and successful grassroots and media campaigns in the nation in the past ten years.

An avid supporter of the music and the arts, Baynard has produced a number of live music events in association with progressive issues, candidates and events including the Democratic National Convention. His work to bring progressive ideals and musicians together includes collaboration with acts such as Jason Isbell, The Rebirth Brass Band, The Drive-By Truckers, Justin Jones and others. Mr. Baynard is also proud to serve as a strategic advisor to the Bruce Lee Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee. The firm is currently engaged in a nationwide effort to promote the innovative use of the Internet to better enable artists, technologists, and difference makers in their missions to tackle some of society’s most challenging problems.

Mr. Baynard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tulane University and was awarded a Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He was admitted to the practice of law in California. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and their four children.