Simone Marstiller, who most recently was secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, told City & State Thursday that she’s returning to the Gunster law and lobbying firm as a consultant, effective Monday.
Marstiller – who was with Gunster before initially joining Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration as head of the Department of Juvenile Justice – will join the firm’s government affairs, health care and appellate practice groups, splitting her time between the Tampa and Tallahassee offices.
“I'm really looking forward to it,” said Marstiller, a member of the City & State Florida Women Power 100 list. “It's fun. When I went to Gunster the first time, it was a comfortable transition for me because I knew so many people there I had worked with before. That is doubly true now.”
She explained that her work will focus on helping business organizations be “strategic” about how they “interact with government, how they navigate the regulatory schemes, pointing out policy considerations they need to be aware of.” She didn’t name names, but her clients will be “businesses who need general government affairs assistance.”
What Marstiller won’t be doing is lobbying: She said she falls under the state’s former 2-year ban on lobbying by state agency heads after leaving office. She stepped down from her AHCA position in November, before a measure took effect that extended the ban to six years.
She returns to the private sector having bolstered her already deep state government experience with her time running DJJ and AHCA.
Aside from having been a 1st District Court of Appeal judge, Marstiller, 58, also served as secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, interim secretary of the Department of Management Services, a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office, and state Chief Information Officer under then-Gov. Jeb Bush.
She also was Associate Deputy Attorney General under then-Attorney General Bill McCollum and served as executive director for the Florida Elections Commission.
Marstiller isn’t the only high-profile state official to join Gunster recently. Trey Price, formerly executive director of the public-private Florida Housing Finance Corp., accepted an offer to be a government affairs consultant in the firm’s Tallahassee office, Florida Politics reported.
Although she enjoyed the time off, Marstiller said she’s raring to get back to work, “doing something meaningful to me and to others, because that is what I believe I was placed on the Earth to do.”