The Advocacy Conference

27 Sep, 2020





Why Should You Attend?

In addition to a diverse agenda on innovative best practices and the best networking opportunities, you’ll get access to:

Senior-Level Content: Advanced sessions and topics for experienced and returning professionals

Unparalleled Networking: Meet the top leaders in grassroots, public affairs, communications and stakeholder engagement — and learn from them to advance your own program

Mentoring Program: Be paired with alumni for career and conference advice from people who really get it

Industry’s Only Resource Marketplace: Check out the best sources available for advocacy technology, products and services

Hear From Past Participants

“The Advocacy Conference is great at providing innovative and top-level speakers who give insights on the ever-changing advocacy landscape around the country. By the time you leave the conference you’ll have a great network to help you be more successful in your career. This is the conference to be at if you want practical tips and to learn from the best in the arena.”

— Jordan Craig, Manager, Government and Industry Affairs, American Forest and Paper Association

“The Advocacy Conference is quite simply the premier event for public affairs professionals. The program itself is outstanding with first class content and speakers; the networking opportunities and the friendships that are developed during the conference are priceless.”

— Michael Garrison, Director, Grassroots, International Council of Shopping Centers

“The Public Affairs Council’s Advocacy Conference is now the only advocacy conference I attend – it’s that valuable. If you are involved in the advocacy field, this is the event to attend for best practices and innovative ideas.”

— Jeff Michaud, Senior Manager, Digital Communications, Government Relations, eBay, Inc.

“I was a first-time attendee in 2018 and I walked away from the conference energized and full of new ideas. Each session gave me the opportunity to hear from experts and interact with my peers. The lessons I learned paid immediate dividends by giving me actionable ways to improve the public relations and grassroots strategies at our association. The conference is also the gift that keeps on giving. The numerous networking opportunities allowed me to make connections with folks from across the spectrum, connections that I reach out to on a regular basis for advice or new ideas.”

— Sean Brown, Vice President, Communications, Federation of American Hospitals

Want to hear from more? Contact us for more information.

Advisory Committee

2021 Advocacy Conference Advisory Committee

Amie Adams, Dunn Associates

Christel Aprigliano, Beyond Type 1

Avelyn Austin, REQ

Steve Blackistone, National Transportation Safety Board

Becky Boles, Craft: Media | Digital

Alexa (Lexi) Branson, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Jacquelyn Cameron, Washington Post

Angela Chiappetta, DDC Public Affairs

Chazz Clevinger, One Click Politics, Inc.

Bobbie Clinton, Jacobs

Meghan Cox, Lincoln Strategy Group

Bethany Dame, American Property Casualty Insurance Association

Andrea DeFelice, National Association of Manufacturers

Randy Dwyer, American Farm Bureau Federation

Renee Eastman, SRP

Jennifer Fox, AALU

Amy Fraser, Grocery Manufacturers Association

Bryan Fratkin, Whistle Stop Digital

Misty Fuller, Adfero

Eric Gilbertsen, REQ

Brandon Graham, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Jared Hess, Draft Kings

Erica Hurtt, Ernst and Young

Ulrico Izaguirre, Affirm, Inc.

Melanie Lynn Kahn, American kidney Fund

Jessica Knutson, National Marrow Donor Program: Be the Match

Ashley Lerner, General Motors

Adam Lotspike, BD (healthcare)

David Lusk, Key Advocacy

Matthew Marinello, Atlantic Health System

Mia Masten, Pfizer

Maria Matthews, American Society of Civil Engineers

Claire McDonough, Cision

Adam  Melis, Aristotle

Katelyn Moga-Gesing, Nurse-Family Partnership

Gary Nuzzi, Adfero

Kristen Prather, Credit Union National Association

Erica Pyatt, LinkedIn

Darlene Rosenkoetter, S&P Global Inc.

Frank Rizzo, FSB Public Affairs

Ben Shlesinger, American Kidney Fund

Jonathan Simons, NCTA

Rebecca Steele, Toyota North America

Gill Stevens, BleCross and BlueShield Association

Laura Vogel, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

David White, Keybridge Communications

James Winslow, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas

Matthew Wright, Children’s Hospital Association

Sue Zoldak, The Zoldak Agency

Sarah  Yi, CTIA

Matthew Zablud, Beekeeper Group

Contact Nick DeSarno to learn more about joining the conference advisory committee.

Read the Full FAQs

1. Is this the same conference as the National Grassroots Conference? Yes…and no. The Advocacy Conference is the evolution of the National Grassroots Conference. As grassroots and advocacy practitioners find that the scope of their work — and the challenges they face — are changing, so is the conference. Grassroots will be one featured track at the conference, paired with communications tactics and strategies and engagement solutions for working with partners, senior management and stakeholders.

2. Where will the conference be? The 2021 conference will be held virtually. You can participate on your device from anywhere with an internet connection.

3. How much does it cost? Please visit our Registration page for details.

4. How do I register? Registration is available online. In order to take advantage of the online discounted rates for Council members, you’ll need a website user name and password. If you cannot remember your username and password, please click this link where you can retrieve the information. If you are new to the site, click here to create a new profile. If you have questions, please call us at 202.787.5950.

5. How can I receive mailings for future conferences? If you would like to be added to our conference brochure distribution list, please contact us at

6. Who should I call if I have more questions?

The Advocacy Conference
Nick DeSarno
202.787.5971 | email

Sponsorship Opportunities and Consultant Expo/Resource Marketplace
Kristin Hanley
202.787.5968 | email

Caryn Seligman
202.787.5966 | email


Sponsoring The Advocacy Conference allows you to advertise your firm and services to our attendees. Your name and brand is present in marketing and throughout the conference itself, giving you repeated exposure to this unique, high-level community.

Thank You to Our Sponsors


Aristotle_Logo NEW
Beekeeper Logo 2016 UPDATED
FiscalNote VoterVoice Logo
National Journal Logo_Primary
Quorum Logo
Soft Edge
Skadden Logo Updated
State & Fed Logo NEW 2021


720 StrategiesNEW
Asidero Logo
CoCensusLogo_Black_TM (1)
KnowWho Logo NEW
One Click Politics


ACCESS Marketing Logo
MultiState Logo NEW_stacked

Conference Marketing Sponsor