John Sampson

Director of Federal Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation

John Sampson
John Sampson joined Microsoft Corporation’s U.S. Government Affairs division in April 1998 and since then has worked in the company’s Washington, D.C.-based Federal government affairs office as its liaison to Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. With 25 years of experience working on and with Capitol Hill, John is widely recognized as an articulate industry ambassador, familiar with technology and Internet trends, and skilled at communicating the complexities, meaning of and policy challenges posed by technological change. In his 14 years at Microsoft, John has developed a proven record of establishing partnerships in support of strategic, long-term, big-bet initiatives.

In March 1998, John completed a ten-year stretch working for the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, a period during which he developed a rare combination of legislative, political, management, publishing and technology experience. His Hill career culminated as a senior policy aide to House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, a chief architect of the Contract with America and champion of such causes as the Military Base Realignment and Closure process, educational choice, elimination of agricultural subsidies, and the flat tax.

Starting in 1989, John spent his first three years on the Hill as an analyst writing for the Legislative Digest, the House Republican leadership’s weekly journal of bill summaries distributed to House Republicans, their staff and a mailing list of Washington decision makers. In 1992, John took the helm of the publication as its editor, and over the next two-and-a-half years overhauled its design, distribution and coverage. Always eager to embrace technology to enhance efficiency, John deployed a number of new tools, including the first computer-based broadcast fax network on Capitol Hill.

After Republicans swept the historic November 1994 elections, John was appointed to the House GOP transition team to aid in the development of the House’s new administrative structure. He soon thereafter oversaw the selection of computer and information systems for incoming Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Armey. The purchase included a sophisticated project management system -- a key tool used by the leadership to help manage the frenetic first 100 days of the Contract with America.

In April 1995, John returned to the policy realm in the Majority Leader’s Office where, for the following three years he represented and advised Mr. Armey on a variety of issues, working with a cross-section of members and staff in support of his responsibilities as the manager of the House’s legislative calendar and floor schedule. During election years, on personal leave from the Majority Leader’s Office, John campaigned with Mr. Armey around the country for GOP incumbents and challengers.

A 24-year resident of the Washington, D.C. metro area, John was asked in 2002 to serve as President of the Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates of D.C. for Children, a non-profit social welfare organization that recruits and trains volunteers to represent the interests of abused and neglected foster children in the D.C. Family Court. He continues to serve CASA as a standing board member.

John was born and raised in San Francisco, California and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego in 1988. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife, Kathryn Sheller, a graphic designer and former Art Director at The Washington Post, their eight year-old son, Paul, and five year-old daughter, Gwendolyn.


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