Justin G. Tanner

Image included
Justin G. Tanner


Justin G. Tanner served as the Associate Director for Legislative, Education & Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency from December 2015  to January 20, 2017.

He was appointed by President Obama as the Associate Director for Legislative, Education & Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in 2015.

Mr. Tanner worked to expand the agency’s focus on policy development and advocacy.  He was responsible for establishing and maintaining positive relationships with members of Congress, the White House and the Office of Management and Budget.  He oversaw the coordination of MBDA’s intergovernmental activity and managed the agency’s strategic alliances portfolio, which included relationships with public and private sector entities, national trade associations, the academic community, community development organizations, as well as Federal, state and local government officials.

Mr. Tanner previously served as a Senior Advisor with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in the Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, where he worked to assist thousands of small, disadvantaged and women-owned businesses as they competed, annually, for over $350 billion in federal prime contract and subcontract awards.  During his time with SBA, he coordinated the release of the agency’s Small Business Procurement Scoreboard, an annual assessment tool that measures how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals.  In addition, he managed SBA’s Destination: HUB initiative, a program designed to help small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.  He also worked to implement a number of key rules and regulations, as mandated by Congress, in the Small Business Act and other relevant statutory provisions.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Tanner served as an external affairs/policy aide for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, where he helped manage the City of Atlanta's relationships at the state, local and federal levels of government.  In the first two years of the mayor's initial term, he worked as a communications aide in the Mayor's Office of Communications, where he authored the City’s first-ever, comprehensive, social and digital media policy.  Before joining City Hall, he served as Director of New Media on Mayor Reed’s 2009 citywide campaign and 2010 Inaugural Planning Committee. Mr. Tanner’s professional experience also includes work with Fortune 100 companies, corporate law firms and small and medium-sized businesses.  He is the recipient of Mayor Kasim Reed’s Phoenix Award, the highest honor an individual or group can receive from the mayor for outstanding achievements and service to the residents of Atlanta.

A Georgia native, Mr. Tanner received a bachelor of business administration degree from Howard University and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.