Public affairs veteran Jay Barksdale is joining the Sunwest Communications team as senior counsel, expanding the Dallas public relations and public affairs firm’s government relations practice.
Barksdale brings more than two decades of experience as a public affairs professional working with municipal, state and federal governments. Most recently, he served as executive vice president of government relations at public affairs firm, the Davis Advocates, where he led legislative advocacy efforts, focusing on economic development, transportation, natural resources, and other business-related policy issues.
Prior to joining the Davis Advocates, he led the Dallas Regional Chamber’s public policy efforts for more than nine years and spent more than a decade working for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART) public affairs as part of the team that brought light rail to the Dallas area in the late 1990s.
Barksdale also served as mayor and councilmember for the City of Waxahachie.
In his new role at Sunwest, Barksdale will lead the firm’s current government relations team, broadening the services provided to clients navigating public affairs.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to join a growing practice area in a growing agency,” Barksdale said in a news release. “Now, more than ever, government relations is a critical component of any communications strategy. I look forward to advocating for clients as they look to build relationships with elected officials.”
“I’ve known Jay for many years and admired his approach to establishing and maintaining strong relationships with elected officials,” said Crayton Webb, owner and CEO of Sunwest Communications. “His experience and relationships will bring fresh expertise to our clients and expand the services we are able to offer as a firm.”
Sunwest clients vary from international oil and gas corporations to real estate, finance, direct selling, technology, education, family foundations and numerous consumer products companies.