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Amy Budner Smith

Amy Budner Smith

Policy Advisor*

Amy Budner Smith has extensive experience in Washington, D.C. providing policy guidance to and advocating on behalf of public, nonprofit, and private organizations before Congress and the Executive Branch. As co-leader of the Education & Workforce Policy practice, she focuses on developing comprehensive strategic plans to raise her clients' national profile and counseling them on the potential impact of federal policies (regulatory and legislative) . She also has a keen understanding of the budget and appropriations processes and assists clients in securing wins through those mechanisms. During national emergencies and economic downturns, she has assisted clients in securing much-needed funding and regulatory relief through stimulus legislation. She successfully helped clients advocate for priorities in each of the legislative COVID response bills, in addition to navigating implementation of the law, and has been recognized for legislative solutions helping to stabilize critical industries following the recovery. As part of her policy practice, Amy is committed to her pro bono activities, particularly related to health research funding and civil rights issues.

Before moving to D.C., Amy worked for the Colorado State Legislature where she led teams in reviewing the operations of a variety of state government agencies and universities, making policy recommendations and proposing legislative changes. In addition, Amy was a Congressional aide to Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1), where she focused on developing and maintaining community relations, as well as addressing a number of policy issues in the district.


  • Top child care provider in securing a US$24 billion stabilization fund for the sector in light of COVID and billions more in additional funding through the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.
  • Numerous higher education clients in securing millions of dollars in relief funds and Title IV regulatory waivers under the CARES Act.
  • Public and nonprofit entities in securing tens of millions of dollars in federal research and infrastructure funding since 2008.
  • Top fintech company secured language addressing a client’s top priority in the 2023 bipartisan debt ceiling legislation —the Fiscal Responsibility Act (PL 118-5) — related to student loans.]
  • Numerous clients advised, prepared and facilitated briefings with the Biden Transition Team and incoming Administration.
  • Numerous clients in securing appointments to serve on negotiated rulemaking committee impacting a vast array of federal student aid regulations.
  • U.S. agriculture company in securing a congressional bipartisan, bicameral letter to the Secretary of Commerce to protect its interest against a broad-sweeping trade enforcement action.
  • Top education technology company in providing advice and counsel regarding regulations governing the purchase of educational content and textbooks.
  • Public, urban, and metropolitan universities in establishing a coalition of higher education institutions to advocate before Congress and the administration.


National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics
‘Top Lobbyists’ (2023)
Excellence in Advocacy Awards
Finalist, Excellence in a Federal Issue Campaign (2017 & 2021)
Women in Government Relations (WGR) 2016
Co-Chair Recognition Award for Outstanding Leadership



  • M.A., University of Colorado
  • B.A., University of Georgia


  • *Not admitted to the practice of law


  • Member, Women in Government Relations
  • Advisory Council/Influencer, Running Start
  • Inaugural Cohort, Postsecondary National Policy Institute’s Leadership Development Program (2018)
  • Co-Chair, Education Task Force, Women in Government Relations (2015–2019)
  • Vice Chair, Workplace Anti-Harassment Committee, Women in Government Relations (2019–2020)
  • Advisory Committee, Heritage Learning Center (2017–2018)