Barrett Kaiser

Partner - Montana

Barrett Kaiser leads a team of seasoned campaign and public affairs professionals in offering campaign management, ad production and placement, public relations, issue advocacy, and grassroots organizing services.

Named one of America’s top “Influencers” by Campaigns & Elections Magazine, Kaiser draws on more than 20 years of political experience, including nearly 11 years as a top advisor to former U.S. Senator and Ambassador to China Max Baucus.

From 1999 to 2010, Barrett served as Sen. Baucus’ communications director, speechwriter, and chief spokesman before running the senior senator’s state-wide operation as Montana chief of staff. Barrett played a key role in aiding Baucus, then-chair of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, as the senator helped craft the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Since joining Hilltop in 2010, Barrett has successfully led several high-profile projects on behalf of clients in states across the country. Those include corporate mergers, massive conservation funding coalitions, rebranding initiatives, and multi-state grasstops campaigns.

For more than a decade, Barrett has served as a lead consultant on the effort to fully and permanently fund the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund — guiding strategic nationwide investments into grassroots and grasstops organizing, paid media, and communications efforts. When President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law in July of 2020, many observers called the win “the greatest conservation achievement in a generation.”

Called upon to reset the struggling effort in Maine to establish a new National Park, Barrett was hired by the Burt’s Bees product line founder to manage a fully integrated campaign that, after nearly 5 years, led to then-President Obama establishing the 80,000 acre area as a National Monument in August of 2016.

His Montana electoral experience includes:

As a senior strategist and advisor to Baucus during two reelection campaigns – in 2002 and again in 2008 – Barrett helped develop an aggressive communications strategy that helped the senator win reelection overwhelmingly in both cases

Highly regarded as a political strategist, Barrett has assisted many federal, state, and local campaigns, including U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s dramatic upset over incumbent Conrad Burns in 2006.

Barrett served as a senior advisor to Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s successful campaign in 2012

Barrett and his team helped reelect Tester in 2012 by organizing an unprecedented mobilization amongst independent groups and deploying cutting-edge, independent paid media and field efforts. Barrett helped elect Tester a 3rd time in 2018 in advising Senate Majority PAC and Majority Forward, the largest outside spenders in the race that year.

At the local level, Barrett has also overseen several successful bond and levy campaigns, including a $12-million bond initiative for a new Library (2011) and a $100-million bond initiative for new schools in Billings (2013), as well as a $100-million bond initiative for new schools in Great Falls (2015).

Formerly a registered fly fishing guide, Barrett organized then-President Barack Obama’s first-ever fly-fishing trip on Montana’s East Gallatin River in 2009. Barrett is certified as an Outdoor Emergency Care Technician, and is a member of the Red Lodge Mountain Resort Ski Patrol.

A native of Denver, Barrett is a 1999 graduate of The University of Montana. He splits his time between Washington, D.C., and Billings, MT, where he lives with his son, Rowan Leo, and two Gordon Setters, Gilly and Guinness.