Douglas E. Nelson

Doug Nelson offers clients a deep understanding of government. He focuses on government relations, legislative issues, regulatory needs, public policy, strategic communications, and a specialty in government contracting and procurement. His vast network of national and state contacts provides great opportunities for his clients. Doug focuses his law practice on business litigation and government issues. 

Doug accomplished a diverse and successful 27 year public service career, highlighted by his five-year tenure as Missouri Commissioner of Administration and over 18 years as a Missouri assistant attorney general. In the 18 plus years as an assistant attorney general, Doug represented, counseled, and worked with all branches of government. He led the Consumer Protection Division and was involved in multi-state actions, Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs), and merchandising practice lawsuits. He litigated and represented several executive branch departments in civil and administrative matters in areas of commercial litigation, contracting, government policy, licensing, labor, and personnel issues. In addition, he currently works with Lathrop GPM Consulting, a subsidiary of Lathrop GPM LLP that focuses on government affairs, lobbying, procurement and crisis management. 

During his eight year tenure in the Executive branch, Doug spent two years as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Nixon and five years as the Commissioner of Administration. As Commissioner, Doug worked with all branches of state government, all 16 state executive departments, and several statewide officials on a daily basis. He was the lead member of Governor Nixon’s cabinet and often the direct contact with the General Assembly. He directly oversaw the Office of Administration (OA) and its 1,800 employees. He was responsible for the areas of contracting procurement, Information Technology (IT) operations and development, facility construction and repair, risk management, personnel, accounting and state bonding, Missouri’s $26 billion budget, state pension issues, and healthcare issues. 

Doug spearheaded the Governor’s e-government initiative, building more efficient and effective governance in four areas: cyber security and data analytics (successfully lobbying to fund cyber security enhancements to the state’s IT network), enterprise improvements, legacy system replacement, and e-government services. He also worked with departments on Medicaid and health care issues and was a member of the state pension board for five years. As a MOSERS board member, he worked with the General Assembly on pension funding issues, and Doug dealt with all types of statewide contract procurements and purchasing issues. He oversaw construction contracts and procurement, surety bond issues, and project management, which included new construction of the Fulton State Hospital and Echo Bluff State Park.

During his last year in government, Doug worked for Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway.  Doug brings a perspective to auditing response needs and the initiative petition process.

Career Highlights/Accomplishments

Government Contracting/Procurement

  • Oversaw the implementation of the MissouriBuys e-procurement system to improve automation and technology in government.
  • Performed the first Disparity Study for the state of Missouri in 20 years. This allowed the state to continue its MBE/WBE program. In addition, the state Office of Equal Opportunity moved to an on-line application system for registering MBE and WBE applicants.
  • Managed hundreds of existing contracts and active procurements.

Information Technology

  • Doug led the Governor’s e-government initiatives. OA IT received numerous awards.
  • Public Technology Institute Award recognized the State of Missouri as an “Outstanding leader in the innovative application of web technologies and social media tools” for the creation of the 100 Missouri miles website. (2013)
  • The Center for Digital Government in its biannual grading of states information technology programs for best practices and progress gave Missouri an A score both times. (2014 and 2016)
  • “Overall Excellence in Cyber Security Award” at the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit. (2015)
  • National Association State Recognition Award from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers for outstanding achievement in the Field of Information Technology for the creation of the Geosciences Technical Resource Assessment Tool (GeoSTRAT). (2015)
  • Innovation of the Year Award from State Scoop Magazine for the development of the state’s Cyber Security Portal. The portal provides a platform to share threat intelligence. (2016)
  • International Data Group (IDG)- a premier security media brand - awarded a 2017 CSO50 Award to the Missouri Office of Administration for developing and implementing security initiatives by using public data to identify vulnerable internet connected systems belonging to organizations from various industries across Missouri. (2016-17)
  • Creation of the Governor’s Cyber Security Task Force that brought together state and local governments, law enforcement, K-12 and higher education institutions, IT security experts, and the private sector to work across industry lines to work offensively against the growing number of cyber threats. The task force held a cyber summit and prepared an action plan. (2016)

Budget/Debt Refinancing

  • Oversaw 16 bond issuances or refinances involving the Board of Public Buildings, Board of Fund Commissioners, Missouri Development Finance Board, Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority, and Regional Convention and Sports Authority bonds totaling over hundreds of millions of dollars and generating cash and present value savings to the state. (2012-2017)
  • Assisted the governor and the state in maintaining the state’s AAA credit rating. (2012-2017)
  • Worked with the Governor and the General Assembly to pass a $314.3 million bond package for improvements to the capitol, state colleges, universities, community colleges, and state buildings. (2015)

Facilities Management

  • Oversaw the contracting and construction of the Capitol renovations, the new Fulton State Hospital, and Echo Bluff State Park.

National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA)

  • Member 2012-2014. Doug served as president in 2015 and 2016 and led NASCA’s 42 state members.
  • Built relationships with peer administrators across the country and networked with other national associations involving information technology and purchasing.
  • Recipient of the NASCA 2016 National Walton Leadership Award for outstanding leadership and service.

Professional Affiliations

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan, Board of Trustees, 2012-2017
  • Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS), Board of Trustees, 2012-2017
Photo of Douglas E. Nelson
F: 573.893.5398


Lisa Cleeve

Court Memberships

  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri 
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri


University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law, J.D., 1990

University of Missouri - Columbia, B.A., 1987