Kestrel West was founded in 2012 by two partners who have decades of experience in policy, media and politics, and who saw need for a new approach to lobbying, campaigns and crisis communication. Our work is rooted in helping business and political leaders reach their goals, and our success has made us one of the most trusted public affairs firms in the Northwest.


We use research, planning and execution of strategic campaigns to influence events and create good public policy. Our approach is rooted in well-crafted messages, honed preparation, meaningful engagement, credibility with the key stakeholders and a unique ability to build support within communities of interest.

Through collaboration, creative thinking, smart tactics and intensive work we help clients develop long-term strategies to position their brands for the future.

Like our clients, we understand the values of pragmatism, experience, discipline and discretion. Whether you have a specific objective with a regulator, a state agency, a newspaper or a local community group, we can help. We do so in an elegant way that is always mindful of protecting reputations and improving your position in a competitive marketplace.



Kate Haas

Kate Haas

Attorney | Lobbyist | Synergist

Kate is a lobbyist specializing in challenging legislative and regulatory issues. She is also a community-relations expert with deep experience organizing coalitions and campaigns for both businesses and political operations. As a former chief of staff and top policy aide to an Idaho congressman, she has nearly a decade of experience on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House, and has worked directly on some of our nation’s most complicated issues.

Quote: “I enjoy the nuances of policy, using a comprehensive grasp of details to help others find the right way forward to the right outcome for Idaho.”

Of Note: Kate is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law, where she was named to the Dean’s list, served an externship for a U.S. District Court Judge and graduated with top honors.

Community: Board of Directors of the Treasure Valley YMCA

Personal: Married to Bret Rumbeck. Avid trail-runner.


John Foster

John Foster

Strategist | Communicator | Catalyst

John is a political consultant and communications expert whose advice is sought by business leaders and elected officials from both parties. His media relations experience ranges from interaction with small, community weekly newspapers to national broadcast television. He is also an experienced lobbyist, and worked as a manager and strategist for national-level campaigns after a decade-long career as an investigative journalist.

Quote: “I love using good stories to explain complicated concepts, something I first learned as a journalist and now get to use in politics and policy.”

Of Note: John is a former professional cyclist and elite athlete who raced around the U.S. His last stop before retiring to pursue journalism full-time was for a team based in Switzerland.

Community: Volunteer umpire for South Boise Little League

Personal: Married to Andrea Foster, father of four children



In late 2010, John Foster was on his way to a new office and a new job after wrapping up a tough political campaign. On the drive in his phone began buzzing and beeping with dozens of calls and messages. Clearly something was going on. He arrived at the office and realized that Twitter had named one of his posts to the list of “10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010” along with those from the White House, Conan O’Brien and the Prince of Wales.

It was a shock, and made John a (very minor) social media celebrity for a few days. Fast forward to today: John has a sporadic Facebook account so his mom can see pictures of the grandkids, and he is off Twitter completely. His Kestrel West partner, Kate Haas, has the same quiet approach to social media.

Why? Social media is an amazing medium and it’s great for exposure. But burnishing our own brand and our own images is not why we’re in business. At Kestrel West it’s not about us, it’s about our clients. We don’t fall into a trap — so common in the political arena — of thinking that time spent on social media is somehow advancing an agenda. Instead we focus on face-to-face contact, meaningful conversation, genuine interaction, and relationships based on service and trust.

That’s how you get things done … now, more than ever.