Heather Miller Podesta (born January 8, 1970) is an American lawyer and lobbyist, based in Washington, D.C. A prominent Democratic lobbyist, she has been described as the “Insider’s Insider” and the “It Girl” of Washington. She is also recognized as a patron of contemporary art and as a philanthropist.
In 2007, Podesta founded Heather Podesta + Partners, which is the nation's largest woman-owned government relations firm. As a lobbyist, Podesta’s clients include the energy, finance, healthcare, retail, real estate, education, and transportation sectors. She previously worked as a congressional aide to numerous US Members of Congress, including US Representatives Robert Matsui and Earl Pomeroy, and US Senator Bill Bradley. She also served as assistant general counsel at the Air Transport Association and general counsel at the Airlines Clearing House.
Podesta is known as a major political player, especially for her commitment to supporting and advising Democratic candidates across the country. In the 2012 federal election cycle, Podesta and her colleagues bundled more than $300,000 on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Senate Majority PAC, and individual Democratic candidates.
The National Journal ranked Podesta as one of “Washington’s Most Influential Women,” GQ named her one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Washington,” and The Hill has repeatedly named her one of its “Top Lobbyists.” In 2010, the National Law Journal ranked Podesta as one of “Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers.”
She received her law degree from the University of Virginia Law School and graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where she now sits on the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies. In addition, Podesta is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ford’s Theatre and serves on the Washington D.C. Police Foundation Board.
Podesta, a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, is an avid collector of contemporary art. In addition to her involvement with NMWA and MOCA-LA, Podesta serves on the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
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- "Married, With Art". Washington Post. September 23, 2004.
- "Capital Dames: 10 Powerful Women in DC". Elle. March 19, 2012.
- "Podesta, Heather". Center for Responsive Politics.
- "Female Fundraisers Aid Super PACs". Newsweek. July 16, 2012.
- "Heather Podesta & Partners". Center for Responsive Politics.
- "NJ’s Most Influential Women". National Journal. July 12, 2012.
- "The 50 Most Powerful People in Washington*". GQ. February 2012.
- "Top Lobbyists 2013". The Hill. October 30, 2013.
- "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers". National Law Journal. June 28, 2010.
- "The 2012 ARTnews 200 Top Collectors". ARTnews. June 26, 2012.
- "The 2013 ARTnews 200 Top Collectors". ARTnews. July 9, 2013.
- "The 2010 Philanthropic 50: Visual Arts". Washington Life. June 11, 2010.
- "Fit for a T: Portrait Gallery Gets Obama 'Hope' Collage". The Washington Post. January 7, 2009.
- "DC Style Setters 2012". Washingtonian.
- "Heather and Tony Podesta reach divorce settlement". The Washington Post. June 9, 2014.