Tony Samp

Tony Samp currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor at DLA Piper Global Law Firm.  Mr. Samp advises clients on public policy issues related to Artificial Intelligence, Defense, Space, Directed Energy, and Technology on congressional strategies, the legislative process, and the regulatory process. Mr. Samp leads DLA Piper’s AI Practice in Washington D.C. and has over 12 years of experience working with members of Congress on defense and national security issues having served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  Tony’s commentary on emerging technology has appeared in leading publications including WIRED, Science Magazine, The Hill, Roll Call, Defense News, and others.

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Mr. Samp 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. Mr. Samp also advised the 15-member National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.  In 2019, Mr. Samp led a legislative strategy in the National Defense Authorization Act to establish a Chief Digital Engineering Recruitment and Management Officer within the Pentagon and create new career tracks in the Department of Defense focused on technologies like 5G, cloud computing and AI.

Mr. Samp helped found and manage the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus, and helped author, negotiate, and enact legislation on Directed Energy to (1) Create a US$100 million Directed Energy Weapon System Program to transition high-powered-microwave and high-energy-laser weapons systems to the military; (2) establish a Senior-level position at the Pentagon for Directed Energy; and (3) require a Strategic Roadmap for fielding Directed Energy weapon systems.

Mr. Samp previously served as the lead advisor to the Senator Martin Heinrich, Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, overseeing military space programs and a $12.5 billion space budget.  Mr. Samp also served as the lead advisor to the Ranking Member of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, Senate Armed Services Committee, overseeing the Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation of military technologies.

Mr. Samp received his Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Security Studies with an emphasis on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security from the National Defense University in Fort McNair, Washington D.C.  Mr. Samp received his undergraduate degree of International Affairs and minored in Business Administration and Spanish at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

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