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No. 41: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Flo Kahn. Illustration by Chris Shary

41. Flo Kahn

If you had to rank the powerful political forces in Sacramento – or in DC, for that matter — the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, would be near the top of the list. And the person who directs that effort here is Floreine “Flo” Kahn, a veteran advocate for the pharmaceutical industry who took over as PhRMA’s point person here after the venerable Merrill Jacobs retired in 2018. Kahn’s official title is “deputy vice president, state advocacy,” a fancy title that really means she’s the guardian of PhRMA’s interests and she coordinates the group’s lobbying efforts through at least five major firms. She earlier handled state government affairs in the West for AbbVie, and before that she worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. She worked on the staffs of several state Republican lawmakers, and served as a deputy chief of staff to then-Assembly GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (yep, that Kevin McCarthy), where she worked on such key issues as energy, water and workers’ compensation. She’s a UC Berkeley graduate in political science.

Updated Aug. 11, 2020


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