Tony SampSenior Policy Advisor
Tony is a Senior Policy Advisor who represents clients before the US Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, DC, he focuses on formulating, synthesizing and executing complex business development and risk mitigation strategies for senior policymakers and business executives.
Tony is among the foremost advisors in the US on issues related to national security, artificial intelligence (AI), space, and emerging technology.
The Hill, a leading Washington publication, named Tony a "Top Lobbyist," commenting of those on its list: "The ranks of policy experts, influencers and advocates run deep in Washington, but these are the people who stand out for delivering results for their clients in the halls of Congress and the administration."
Tony brings 15 years of experience working with members of Congress, industry, and the executive branch on emerging technologies. Earlier in his career, he served as senior policy advisor to Senator Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Tony heads DLA Piper's AI policy practice in Washington, DC. He was the founding director of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus and was Senator Heinrich's principal author of US$2.2 billion legislation, the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (AI-IA), that was endorsed by 11 major associations and institutions to organize a national strategy for AI and invest in academia, national laboratories, and industry. The core provisions of the legislation were signed into law in January 2021 and remain a landmark for US policy and federal funding of AI. He also advised the 15-member National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
Tony served as the lead advisor to the Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Senate Armed Services Committee, overseeing a US$15 billion budget in military space programs. Over a 12-year period, he secured significant appropriations to invest in satellite research and development capabilities and executed a legislative strategy to establish the military's leading responsive space program, which is now a nearly half-billion-dollar program and plays a critical role in the Space Force.
Tony was the founding director of the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus in the US House of Representatives, helping to author, negotiate, and enact legislation on directed energy to create a US$100 million Directed Energy Weapon System Program to transition high-powered-microwave and high-energy-laser weapons systems to the military; establish a senior-level position at the Pentagon for the technology; and require a strategic roadmap for fielding the technology.
Tony was appointed an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and is currently a Visiting Fellow at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School bipartisan National Security Institute in Washington, DC.
Tony Samp is not a lawyer.
- B.A., Baylor University
- M.A., Strategic Security Studies, National Defense University
- Named among The Hill's Top Lobbyists (2021-2022)
- Quoted, "Thune AI Bill Requires Companies to Certify Safety of Their Tech," Bloomberg Government, November 15, 2023
- Quoted, "Dueling interests ask if Biden goes too far on AI or falls short," Roll Call, November 7, 2023
- Mentioned, "The law firm acting as OpenAI's sherpa in Washington," Politico, September 12, 2023
- Quoted, "Threats like AI-aided bioweapons confound policymakers," Roll Call, September 12, 2023
- Quoted, "Little-noticed US funding for China tech sector now draws scrutiny", Roll Call, February 7, 2023
- Quoted, "The United States Plans to Expand Research through this New Law", Analytics Insight, January 2021
- Quoted, "U.S. Law Sets Stage for Boost to Artificial Intelligence Research", AAAS, January 2021
- Quoted, "Trump Could Torpedo a Bill to Boost Funding for AI", Wired, December 2020
- Mentioned, "Rocket Lab hires D.C. lobbying firm DLA Piper", Space News, April 2020
- Quoted, "Richard Branson headlines Air Force event, pitches Virgin Orbit’s capabilities for national security", Space News, September 2019
My latest insights
US senators introduce bill to establish AI governance framework
16 November 2023 .27 minute read