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. 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) in a variety of sectors, including education, workforce, trade, healthcare, technology, and foreign affairs. 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. Recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she successfully helped clients advocate for priorities in each of the legislative COVID response bills, in addition to navigating implementation of the law. 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. While there, she led teams in reviewing the operations of a variety of state government agencies and universities, making policy recommendations and proposing legislative changes. She also was responsible for conducting policy analysis and research, monitoring legislation, and providing legislative testimony.

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.
  • National convenience store chain in gaining eligibility under the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (CARES Act).
  • 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.
  • Numerous clients advised, prepared and facilitated briefings with the Biden Transition Team and incoming Administration.
  • Top public university in securing an appointment to serve on a 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.
  • Foreign government in securing appropriations language for directing the use of funds toward and strengthening U.S. support for a negotiated solution to a regional conflict.
  • Top education technology company in providing advice and counsel regarding regulations governing the purchase of educational content and textbooks.
  • Stand-alone children's hospital in securing a US$30 million increase to support their specialized graduate medical education training program, which previously had been proposed for elimination in the president's budget.
  • Top research university in securing language in an appropriations bill to support research and training of healthcare workers abroad to better diagnose and treat those affected by autism spectrum disorders.
  • Public, urban, and metropolitan universities in establishing a coalition of higher education institutions to advocate before Congress and the administration.
  • Municipality in successfully advocating for a waiver from the Federal Railroad Administration for its wayside horn system.


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
NCSL National Legislative Program Evaluation Society Impact Award 2005


  • M.A., University of Colorado
  • B.A., University of Georgia
  • *Not admitted to the practice of law
  • Co-Chair, Education Task Force, Women in Government Relations (2015–2019)
  • Vice Chair, Workplace Anti-Harassment Committee, Women in Government Relations (2019–2020)
  • Inaugural Cohort, Postsecondary National Policy Institute’s Leadership Development Program (2018)
  • Member, Women in Government Relations
  • Advisory Council, Running Start (2009–2021)
  • Advisory Committee, Heritage Learning Center (2017–2018)

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