Becker & Poliakoff

Becker Celebrates Women’s History Month: Meet Amanda Wood

Becker Celebrates Women’s History Month: Meet Amanda Wood

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Becker is showcasing the inspiration, philosophies, and expertise of the women attorneys and lobbyists who help elevate our firm and client service. Amanda Wood is a Senior Federal Advocacy Director in our Washington, DC office. She spends her days in our nation’s capital representing municipal, corporate, and nonprofit clients on a variety of matters. Fun-fact: she’s been named a “hired gun” on The Hill’s List of Top Lobbyists.

Q: Explain your practice area and what you do.

A: I’m a federal lobbyist in the DC office and much of the work I do is helping our public agency clients (cities, counties, etc.) as well as the technology companies that do business with public agencies to leverage the extraordinary amounts of federal funding that are available to them for local projects.

Q: How did you know you wanted to get into the field of lobbying?

A: After spending 8 years on Capitol Hill working for Senator Bob Graham, I knew that helping communities navigate DC and form partnerships with the federal government was a passion. I wanted to continue to do that same work after I left the Hill.

Q: What is a significant achievement or milestone in your career that you’re particularly proud of?

A: I can’t think of one specifically, but it sure is satisfying to walk on a beach that I’ve helped to fund for renourishment, drive on roads that were paved using federal dollars, ride on bike paths that benefited from Congressionally-directed spending, and see lives saved using ShotSpotter and other law enforcement technologies in which the US Department of Justice has invested.

Q: What qualities do you admire about the women in your life?

A: The women in my life are some of the most dependable, empathetic, and supportive people I know.  I wish that more of the women in my life were as confident as they should be.  As a mother of two daughters, raising confident, competent, and interesting young women is my greatest pride.

Q: Who is your favorite female historical figure and why?

A: In 1996, as a student at Georgetown University, I had the extraordinary opportunity to have dinner with Katherine Graham at her home. Katherine Graham was the first female publisher of a major American newspaper after she took the helm of the Washington Post Company in 1963 after the death of her husband. Graham was also the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company after taking the company public in 1972 and in 1971, she oversaw the publication of the Pentagon Papers and coverage of the Watergate scandal. She was a groundbreaking leader — powerful and bright and charming — and I really admire her.

Q: What obstacles do women still face today?

A: Honestly, so many of us face exhaustion and the limits of a twenty-four-hour day.  There are so many more opportunities for women to advance professionally, but for those of us that also want to dedicate as much time as possible to our families and our homes and a have a mind overwhelmed with to-do lists from every facet of our life, it’s really tiring.

Q: What is something you would like the next generation of women to know?

A: Make finding a fantastic partner in life and starting a family a priority.  I am a better professional, parent, and person because I have had my husband by my side since I met him as a 19 year old college sophomore.  And there is never a “good time” to have children, but they will be your greatest accomplishment and joy – I promise!

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

A: There will be so many days when juggling your family and work is overwhelming, but you will find both so rewarding, so stick with it! You are a great role model for your daughters.