ABOUT ANITA ESTELL, Esq., Special HostAnita’s Blog: The People’s Place
Anita Estell, a shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart PC, is an attorney, lobbyist and columnist, with more than two decades of experience in re-shaping federal laws and policies and securing billions of dollars in funding for the programs that mean the most “back home”.
If you like the blog, please feel free to check out www.anitaestell.com. On the site, you have access to audio, video and printed resources that inform, inspire, teach and guide you through the nooks and crannies of the federal governmental process. No matter your interest, Anita Estell gives you access to exactly what you need, to get what you want from the elected officials and bureaucrats in Washington.
At the beginning and the end of the day – when it comes to Washington, both the Anita Estell blog and anitaestell.com — are all about YOU all the time!
Anita R. Estell is a pioneer in the Washington, D.C. lobbying community and is considered to be one of the city's outstanding lobbyists. She quickly earned a reputation as a strategist whose achievements are marked by innovative, measurable and sustainable results after making history as the first African American woman to become a principal at a major independent lobbying firm in 1993.
Ms. Estell is responsible for client development and managing a broad spectrum of client issues, with a specific expertise in federal budget and appropriations policy, including programmatic areas of relevance to municipalities, transportation systems, urban school districts, corporate entities, predominantly and historically black colleges and universities, other institutions of higher education, national coalitions and nonprofits including large national member organizations.
Within the area of appropriations, Ms. Estell possesses a keen acumen for understanding, managing, influencing and implementing federal policy in a number of key areas, e.g. community development, criminal justice, defense, education (elementary, secondary and higher education), environment, minority health, HIV/AIDS, homeland security, international development, private equity, science and technology, small business, transportation, workforce development and federal contracting/grant opportunities. She manages more than $2 billion in client requests annually. Other strengths include facilitating public/private collaboratives and bottom-up and top-down advocacy.
Ms. Estell served as a principal for 13 years at Van Scoyoc Associates. She also is a former Clinton appointee serving as Chief of Staff to Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole on the Clinton/Gore Transition Team and as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Richard Riley. While at the Department of Education, Ms. Estell coordinated the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the reauthorization of the Office of Education Research and Improvement. She also worked closely with the White House on several initiatives, including the Drug-Free/Safe Schools and Empowerment Zone proposals.
Prior to working with the Clinton administration, Ms. Estell served on the House Appropriations Committee. She was appointed to that position in 1987 by Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) and served five years. In that capacity, Ms. Estell monitored and managed the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies and Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bills, as well as other legislative initiatives related to the budget and national security. Her portfolio included responsibility for more than $1 trillion in federal programs cutting across the federal spectrum.
In addition to her experience in Congress and with the Clinton administration, Ms. Estell spent her early years as an attorney practicing communications law at Gage & Tucker in Kansas City, Missouri, and the National Association of Broadcasters, located in Washington, D.C. She gained extensive experience in managing cases related to telecommunications policy, contract negotiation, minority ownership and First Amendment issues. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Estell worked as a reporter and anchor in both television and radio.
She has provided pro bono consulting to a number of organizations, including the James Jordan Foundation, the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute and the Mark Twain Museum. Ms. Estell’s “Political Watch” column previously appeared in Turning Point Magazine.