Joe Rodota


Joseph Rodota is the founder and CEO of Forward Observer, a public affairs research and strategy firm with offices in Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA. Joe served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Cabinet Secretary to former California Governor Pete Wilson, overseeing day-to-day operations, policy development, and federal relations for the 13 cabinet agencies of the nation’s most populous state. He was a top consultant to the Governor’s 1990 campaign and served as senior counselor for policy in Governor Wilson’s 1994 reelection campaign. During California’s tumultuous 2003 recall election, Joe served as Director of Policy and Research for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mr. Rodota is a graduate of Stanford University in history, with honors and distinction. He serves on the board of the Crocker Museum of Art. He speaks on politics, ballot initiative strategy and tactics, and the importance of research in corporate communications.

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Recent Commentary

Featured CommentaryEureka

How a Winning Recall Candidate Prepared to Govern California

by Joe Rodotavia Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

In 2003, California voters faced a decision: whether to recall the incumbent governor, Gray Davis and replace him with someone from a list of 135 would-be chief executives, including one of the most famous individuals on the planet at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The California Reform Industry: A Prognosis

by Joe Rodotavia Eureka
Friday, June 29, 2012

In the current recession, the ranks of the unemployed in California have swelled by nearly 1.2 million.

Still, one industry seems to be thriving in America’s nation-state: the California “reform industry.”