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 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, with a concentration on congressional strategies and appropriations.
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 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 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 spearheaded a legislative strategy in the National Defense Authorization Act to create new career tracks in the Department of Defense for digital engineering focusing on digital technologies like 5G, cloud computing and AI.
Tony served as the lead advisor to the Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Senate Armed Services Committee, overseeing aUS$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 develop 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, "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
NIST unveils Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework
23 February 2023 .10 minute read
DLA Piper’s Steven Phillips, Tony Samp and Nat Bell named to The Hill’s 2022 Top Lobbyists...
13 December 2022 .1 minute read