50 Most Influential People Shaping Washington D.C. in 2023

Most Influential People

Are you curious about the fascinating world of Washington D.C.’s most influential people? Join us on this special journey, as we’ll introduce you to 50 amazing people who are making a big impact on the Capital. From lawyers to tech leaders, each person is leaving their mark on the way things work in Washington D.C. Get ready for a fun adventure through power, rules, and the people who really make things happen in the capital!

Antitrust

1. Bill Baer 

Bill Baer, a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, draws on his experience as a former assistant attorney general to advise policymakers on navigating the complex realm of antitrust during a period of significant reform initiatives.

2. Steve DelBianco 

As the President and CEO of NetChoice, Steve DelBianco leads a conservative tech-lobbying group, taking a stand against perceived power grabs by congressional Democrats. His efforts shape the discourse around fair terms between news organizations and social media giants.

3. Teddy Downey 

CEO and Executive Editor of The Capitol Forum, Teddy Downey not only manages a subscription-based platform focused on antitrust enforcement but also uses his podcast to explore solutions to the challenges posed by burgeoning monopolies.

4. Mark Hansen 

With over three decades of legal expertise, Mark Hansen, a Partner at Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel& Frederick has secured the “largest judgment under US antitrust laws—a $1.3 billion tobacco settlement.”

5. Mark Isakowitz 

In his role as “Google’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the US and Canada,” Mark Isakowitz, who used to work on “Capitol Hill for the GOP,” is actively opposing laws that could put Google’s services’ safety, privacy, and security at risk.

Banking & Finance

6. Greg Baer 

Greg Baer, who is the “President and CEO of the Bank Policy Institute,” works on the connection between “regulatory, monetary, and consumer policy, advocating for fair practices and enforcing sanctions against Russia.”

7. James Ballentine 

James Ballentine, the “Founder and CEO of Ballentine Strategies,” uses his knowledge gained from working at the “American Bankers Association” to help financial-service clients and small businesses navigate the complex world of banking strategy.

8. Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr. 

In his role as “President and CEO of SIFMA,” Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr. often speaks up for broker-dealers, investment banks, and asset managers when it comes to dealing with new rules suggested by the “Securities and Exchange Commission.”

9. Tim Berry 

Head of “Global Government Relations at JPMorgan Chase,” Tim Berry, with previous experience in government relations for Time Warner, plays a pivotal role in shaping the Mid-Atlantic region for the banking giant.

10. Reginald Brown 

Reginald Brown, who is a Partner in Litigation at Kirkland & Ellis and also a board member at Blackstone, helps out lots of financial industry businesses. He represents them when they’re being looked into by Congress and advises on the rules they have to follow.

Business & Labor

11. Mimi Alemayehou

Adviser at Three Cairns Group, Mimi Alemayehou, a former Mastercard executive, joins the “philanthropy-minded investment firm” to assist private clients in navigating the “intersection of emerging climate-related projects, technologies, and international development in emerging markets.”

12. Bruce Andrews

In his role as the “Corporate Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer at Intel,” Bruce Andrews works together with organizations and governments worldwide to shape semiconductor policies. He plays a crucial part in making sure the CHIPS and Science Act becomes law.

13. Kate Bahn

Director of Research at WorkRise, Kate Bahn’s expertise shines in her “Econ 101” briefings, shedding light on the impact of market competitiveness on the labor market. Her efforts led to a congressional hearing on economic disparities in growth.

14. Sirisha Bandla

Sirisha Bandla, the “Vice President of Government Affairs at Virgin Galactic” and the “second woman born in India” to go to space, supports programs for commercial space travel. This includes projects like “LauncherOne and SpaceShipTwo.”

15. Ruchi Bhowmik

Ruchi Bhowmik works as the “Vice President of Public Policy at Netflix.” In her role, she creates plans for the popular streaming service, building connections with “lawmakers, regulators, and non-profit organizations in Canada and the United States.”

Civil Rights & Criminal Justice

16. Roy L. Austin Jr.

In his role as “Vice President of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel at Meta, Roy L. Austin Jr.” is working on addressing civil rights concerns on the platform. He’s building a team to handle these issues and is taking action to remove ads that might be sensitive. At the same time, he’s studying how Facebook affects different racial groups.

17. Yvette Badu-Nimako

Yvette Badu-Nimako is the “Vice President of Policy and Interim Executive Director at the National Urban League.” She heads up efforts on “social justice, civil rights, and constitutional questions,” using her background as a former House Oversight Committee staffer.

18. Dorothy Brown

Professor at Georgetown Law, “Dorothy Brown,” author of “The Whiteness of Wealth,” unveils how the “US tax system impoverishes Black Americans,” gaining media attention from CNN, MSNBC, and Bloomberg.

19. Kris Brown

In her role as “President of Brady,” Kris Brown achieved significant funding for preventing gun violence in the budget agreement. Thanks to Brown’s efforts, the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives” received more resources to address these critical issues.

20. Paul Butler

Professor at Georgetown University, Paul Butler is a frequent commentator on criminal law and social justice issues, quoted by media outlets like 60 Minutes and NPR.

Climate & Environment

21. Alexandra Adams

Alexandra Adams, who works as the “Senior Director of Federal Affairs” at the “Natural Resources Defense Council,” played a crucial part in important talks on “Capitol Hill” about the infrastructure bill and the “Inflation Reduction Act.” She specifically focused on making sure the practices discussed were good for the environment and could be kept up in the long run.

22. George David Banks

As a Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, George David Banks, with nearly two decades of experience in climate issues, collaborates on crafting a long-term strategy to achieve net-zero emissions, working closely with GOP leaders.

23. Greg Bertelsen

Greg Bertelsen, who is the CEO of the “Climate Leadership Council,” collaborates with “federal lawmakers and leaders across business, labor, and environmental communities.” His goal is to encourage policies that connect carbon dividends with trade and climate issues.

24. Paul Bledsoe

Strategic Adviser at the Progressive Policy Institute, Paul Bledsoe wrote reports warning about geopolitical and climate risks associated with the EU’s dependency on Russian gas before the invasion of Ukraine.

25. Carol Browner

As Senior of Counsel at Covington, Carol Browner, former “EPA administrator, and director of the White House Office of Energy Policy and Climate Change Policy,” provides tailored guidance on navigating government rules and regulations.

Economic Policy

26. Dean Baker

“Dean Baker,” who is a “Co-founder and Senior Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research,” is someone the media often turns to. He provides valuable insights into how political stories are influenced by policy decisions and offers critiques of economic data analysis.

27. Oren Cass

Founder and Executive Director of American Compass, Oren Cass develops a conservative agenda focused on worker-centric policies, aiming to compete with China and shift away from blind faith in free markets.

28. Frank Clemente

In his role as Executive Director of “Americans for Tax Fairness,” Frank Clemente celebrates the “2023 omnibus bill.” It doesn’t continue the corporate tax breaks that were passed during Trump’s time. He’s speaking up for fairness in how taxes are done and making sure rich people don’t get more breaks.

29. Tyler Cowen

Mercatus Center Chairman and Faculty Director at George Mason University, Tyler Cowen explores talent allocation strategies in his book “Talent,” emphasizing the impact of better-utilizing abilities for economic growth.

30. Steve H. Hanke

“Steve H. Hanke,” who is a “Professor of Applied Economics” at “Johns Hopkins University,” worked together with others to write a paper about how lockdowns affect “Covid-19 deaths.” This paper got noticed by important people in the White House and Congress because of what they found.

Education

31. John Bailey

“Nonresident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Fellow at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” John Bailey conducts analyses on applying artificial intelligence to education. His newsletters, summarizing COVID-related education research, are widely consumed by leaders and officials.

32. Mario Beovides

“Mario Beovides,” Director of “Policy and Legislative Affairs” at the “NALEO Educational Fund,” is actively involved in a coalition that is urging Congress to put in place protections for “DACA migrants,” specifically focusing on those who are students.

33. Kathleen deLaski

Founder and Board Chair of “Education Design Lab,” Kathleen deLaskiis working with major American companies. Their goal is to hire and help “1 million Black Americans” who don’t have four-year degrees. They want to get them into good jobs that will last for a long time. They plan to achieve this within the next ten years.

34. Max Eden

Max Eden, “Research Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute,” is a prominent conservative voice in the cultural battles within public schools, addressing issues such as transgender policies.

35. Denise Forte

President and CEO of Education Trust, Denise Forte leverages her 20 years of Capitol Hill experience to advance the cause of assisting underserved students, earning her organization the title of “the most important truth teller in American public education.”

Energy

36. Bryan Anderson

Bryan Anderson is the “Executive Vice President” and “President of External Affairs at Southern Company.” He leads the way on policies and public matters for the second-largest utility company in the U.S. His main focus is on environmental and regulatory issues.

37. Amy Andryszak

As “President and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America,” Amy Andryszak leads during a period when her members actively support federal methane regulations. She also advocates for permitted reform.

38. Isaac Brown

Isaac Brown, who works as the Managing Partner at “38 North Solutions,” used to assist Jan Schakowsky, the “Democratic chief deputy House whip.” Currently, he’s actively supporting energy credits, working together with his colleague Katherine Hamilton.

39. Neil Chatterjee

Neil Chatterjee, “former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission” and now works as a Senior Adviser at “Hogan Lovells,” brings his knowledge of how things work on Capitol Hill. He gained this insight while serving as a policy adviser to Mitch McConnell, who was the leader of the Senate minority at that time.

40. Alex Flint

The “Executive Director of the Alliance for Market Solutions,” Alex Flint, talks with people in Congress, business leaders, and groups that support certain ideas. They discuss and decide on rules and plans that deal with both making sure we have enough energy and dealing with the problems of climate change.

Foreign Affairs

41. Michael Abramowitz

As President of Freedom House, Michael Abramowitz works tirelessly to counter the rise of authoritarianism, aiming to reverse the trend by advocating for democratic values.

42. Andrew Albertson

Andrew Albertson, who is the Executive Director of Foreign Policy for America, has worked to create a countrywide network that emphasizes the importance of “principled American engagement in the world.” This is happening at a time when more people are supporting the idea of isolating the country.

43. Emma Belcher

Emma Belcher, who is the president of the “Ploughshares Fund,” brings together important people involved in global weapons discussions. She stresses how vital it is to manage weapons all around the world, especially when tensions are rising among powerful countries.

44. Jeremy Ben-Ami

As the President of J Street, Jeremy Ben-Ami has called on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to reconsider its “political spending strategy,” arguing against heavy partisan investments during the 2022 midterm election cycle.

45. Bill Bishop

Author and Publisher of Sinocism, Bill Bishop’s Substack on news from inside China has gained significant influence, especially concerning China’s response to COVID-19 restrictions.

Good Government

46. Danielle Brian

For the past thirty years, Danielle Brian, who is the “Executive Director and President of the Project on Government Oversight,” has been working hard to make positive changes in all parts of the government. She strongly believes in making sure the government is overseen properly to make it work better.

47. Kelly Burton

Kelly Burton, a member of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, played a vital part in fighting against efforts by the GOP to manipulate voting districts. Because of her efforts, the New York Times acknowledged that the map of the US House, which determines how voting areas are drawn, is the fairest it’s been in 40 years.

48. Virginia Canter

Virginia Canter, who is the “Chief Ethics Counsel” at “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington,” pointed out that former President Trump didn’t share information about loans. She used this as an example to show why we need stricter rules about reporting financial matters.

49. Lee Drutman

Co-Founder of Fix Our House and Senior Fellow at New America, Lee Drutman established Fix Our House to promote proportional representation in the House of Representatives.

50. Norman Eisen

Norman Eisen, who works as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, is a key expert when it comes to understanding the challenges linked to the former President, Trump. He actively contributes by sharing reports that are widely read about criminal investigations and how there was interference in the 2020 election.

Conclusion

As we conclude the “50 most influential people shaping Washington D.C. in 2023,” it’s clear that these leaders are the ones making big changes in the capital. They range from those making sure competition is fair to those handling tricky banking and finance rules, and people who connect new technologies with environmental projects.

Each person has a crucial role. The ones fighting for civil rights and justice, as well as those working on climate and the environment, act as protectors of what’s right and sustainable. Together, these influential people form a diverse group that shapes the way Washington works.

They leave a lasting impact on the rules that affect the powerful. In a city known for being complicated, these individuals are the power driving a future that is more fair, just, and sustainable.

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