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Former US Rep. Mike Gallagher takes job with TitletownTech

Gallagher hired by Packers-Microsoft venture capital firm less than a month after leaving office

Mike Gallagher
Former Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher smiles inside TitletownTech’s Ashwaubenon headquarters. Gallagher has been as an advisor by the capital firm. (Photo Courtesy of TitletownTech)

TitletownTech Managing Partner Craig Dickman has known Mike Gallagher since before he represented northeast Wisconsin in Congress.

Gallagher was still a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Dickman was the CEO of Breakthrough Fuel, a global energy and supply chain management company in De Pere.

Dickman said he knew Gallagher was originally from Green Bay, so he gave him a business card and eventually offered him a position closer to home.

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“I had no idea he was going to run for Congress when he first joined us,” Dickman said. “Mike was actually part of what we called our ‘breakthrough advisor team.’ He was our senior global strategist.”

The two stayed in touch after Gallagher won a seat in Congress.

Now, their professional lives are crossing paths again.

Less than a month after leaving Congress, Gallagher has a new job at TitletownTech, a venture capital firm that’s a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft.

The company announced Monday that Gallagher will serve as a “senior strategic advisor” as part of the firm’s advisor team.

It’s not necessarily a full-time position, but the former congressman will “be a highly integrated part” of TitletownTech, Dickman said.

He said the firm will utilize Gallagher’s expertise in foreign and tech policy to help identify investment opportunities to boost the region’s economy and support national security. 

“Creating that linkage to keep him actively working and engaged in this community is really valuable,” Dickman said. “I think it also reinforces the perspective that we have real thought leaders and real thought leadership here in Wisconsin, in the region and in the Green Bay area.”

The move comes after Forbes reported in March that Gallagher planned to take a job with Palantir, an American surveillance company and defense contractor. 

Dickman said he’d seen headlines about Palantir, but couldn’t provide details on Gallagher’s plans outside TitletownTech.

“I’m not really in a position to comment on what Mike’s other plans may be, but just really excited that he’s joining our team,” said Dickman.

Gallagher was not available for an interview on Monday.

Gallagher one of several high-profile GOP retirements from Congress

Gallagher represented the state’s 8th Congressional District from 2017 to 2024. He’s a Marine Corps veteran who holds a doctorate in international relations from Georgetown University.

In office, Gallagher often focused on foreign relations issues and national security. He was the lead sponsor on a bill, signed into law by President Joe Biden, that would ban Chinese-owned TikTok unless it’s sold within a year.

In a statement, Gallagher said he was excited to join TitletownTech to help transform the state into a “hub of technological innovation.”

“Wisconsin is on the front lines of geopolitical competition in the 21st Century, and has a critical role to play in enhancing America’s economic competitiveness in general and technological leadership in particular,” he said. “I look forward to working with the TitletownTech team to drive Wisconsin’s growth by making it the best destination for top-level tech-talent and thereby advance America’s national security interests.”

In February, Gallagher announced he would not seek a fifth term in Congress. In March, he announced plans to leave Congress by mid-April, but delayed his resignation from Congress to support a foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Days before leaving Congress, Gallagher told reporters his decision was about prioritizing family.

“I signed up for the death threats and the late night swatting, but they did not,” Gallagher said last month. “And for a young family, I would say this job is really hard.”

His was one of a number of high-profile Republican retirements from Congress in recent months.

Anthony Chergosky, assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, said the current political environment likely factored into those decisions.

“I can imagine that for many members of Congress, leaving Congress and pursuing an opportunity in the private sector would seem quite appealing,” he said. “Both because of the potential financial benefit for entering the private sector, but also because many members of Congress find it rather miserable to serve in Congress in the current political environment.”

Former representatives returning to work in the private sector after leaving office is pretty normal and nothing new, Chergosky said.

He said members of Congress are highly sought after when they leave office because they have valuable connections and knowledge gained during their time in office and they have political savvy that can be useful in the private sector.

There are rules on what members of Congress can do after they leave office, mostly aimed at preventing them from lobbying the federal government during a “cool off period” when they leave office.

Chergosky said concerns about former lawmakers joining the private sector generally revolve around lobbying and the concept of a “revolving door” in government, where legislators leave to become lobbyists for substantially more money.

“There often is the accusation that people left office and became lobbyists just to cash in,” he said. “To some in the public, it seems unsavory that a legislator could leave office, substantially increase their pay possibly, and then try to influence the very government that they once served.”