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Barbara J. Comstock*

Senior Advisor

Former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock provides strategic counsel to clients on a range of matters, including cybersecurity and privacy issues, and managing high-stakes oversight hearings of businesses and individuals.

Professional Biography

Barbara Comstock, senior advisor with Baker Donelson, offers clients decades of policy experience in the legislative, administrative, and private sector arenas, as well as a lifetime of relationships, to build winning coalitions and strategies for clients in today's challenging policy and political environments. She's active in the technology and cybersecurity areas, national security and space, and congressional investigations.

Barbara was elected to Congress in 2014, and served two terms representing Virginia's Tenth Congressional District, making her the first woman elected to that seat. She was named as one of the "Top Ten Most Effective Lawmakers" in the 115th Congress by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a joint effort of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University.

During her time in Congress, Barbara was a leader on technology and cybersecurity issues, chairing the Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Research and Technology subcommittee, as well as serving on the Joint Economic Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the House Administration Committee. Her legislative achievements include passing legislation to promote women and disadvantaged populations in STEM, as well as expanding research in the technology space. Barbara also was the leader on anti-sexual harassment legislation in Congress, and legislation to tackle the opioid crisis and gang crime. She partnered with Senator McCain to reauthorize multi-year firefighter grants to increase innovation and public safety. While in Congress, Barbara was the only woman in the Virginia congressional delegation and the only Virginia member to chair a subcommittee.

Prior to serving in Congress, Barbara served as a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates. There she was also a leader on technology issues serving as chairwoman of the Science and Technology Committee. She also served on the Commerce and Labor Committee and the General Laws Committee. Barbara was a go-to leader in technology, authoring and passing legislation such as the Research and Development Tax Credit, Data Center Tax Incentives, the first Telework bills in Virginia, and legislation on human trafficking and health care. She received the Virginia Chamber's Free Enterprise Award and Competitiveness Award.

Prior to elected office, Barbara co-founded her own public affairs firm and was a senior partner at Blank Rome Government Relations. She also served as Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice, overseeing the communications efforts at the Justice Department and FBI, handling communications dealing with major terrorism investigations, corporate fraud, and antitrust matters.

Barbara worked as a strategic advisor for the Mitt Romney presidential campaigns, was head of Research and Strategy at the Republican National Committee, and worked with the George W. Bush 2000 presidential campaign. Barbara first worked on Capitol Hill as a senior aide to Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf (1990 – 1995), working on transportation, health care, business, and appropriations matters. She also served as the Chief Counsel for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and as outside counsel on numerous high-profile investigations.

In 2013, Barbara founded "The Young Women's Leadership Program" for women in high school and junior high, which is now housed at the Barbara Comstock Institute for Women in Leadership at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.

Barbara has served as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, University of Southern California's Center for the Political Future, and American University's Sine Institute.

Barbara also serves as an ABC News political contributor and appears regularly on CNN, PBS, and MSNBC. She serves on the boards of Vivint Home Security, Trustar Bank, UVA's Miller Center for the Study of the Presidency, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is a mother of three and grandmother of seven and lives in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Chip, a lifelong high school educator and administrator.

  • Fellow – Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics (Spring 2019)
  • Named by the Center for Effective Lawmaking among the Top Ten "Highly Effective Lawmakers of the 115th Congress" (2019)
  • Named by the Washingtonian as one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in Washington" (2017)
  • Recipient – "Manufacturing Legislative Excellence," National Association of Manufacturing (2018)
  • Recipient – "2018 Outstanding Woman," American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Virginia
  • Recipient – "Guardian of Small Business," National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) (2015, 2016, 2018)
  • Recipient – "In a Heartbeat" award, Youth for Tomorrow (2018)
  • Recipient – "Legislator of the Year," Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) (2017)
  • Recipient – "Leadership Award," The Women's Center (2016)
  • Recipient – "Eagle Award" for STEM leadership, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, Metropolitan Washington Chapter (2016)
  • Recipient – "Hero of Main Street," National Retail Federation (2015, 2016)
  • Recipient – "Free Enterprise Award," Virginia Chamber of Commerce (2012, 2014)
  • Recipient – "Congressional Champion" for People with Disabilities award, AbilityOne
  • Recipient – "Tip Hero" award for legislation and work on preventing human trafficking, Airline Ambassadors International  
  • Recipient – "Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor" award, Independent Women's Forum 
  • Recipient – "Carolyn Pultz Brown Leadership Award," Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance for impact on the ovarian cancer community
  • Recipient – Women in Government Relations Congressional Leadership Award 
  • Recipient – Jill's House "Light of Hope" award for legislative work for children with disabilities
  • Recipient – "Leadership award," National Capital Lyme Association
  • Board Member – Trustar Bank 
  • Board Member – Veterans Against Alzheimer's
  • Board Member – Winning 4 Women Advisory Board (an organization dedicated to electing more Republican women to office)
  • Panelist – "Post-Election Analysis: What Do the Election Results Mean for Long Term Care Providers?," 2022 Baker Donelson Long Term Care Symposium (November 2022)
  • "Congress Cares (Act): Expect Oversight Investigations," Celesq® Webcast (July 2020)
  • Panelist – "The Female Candidate for Office: Challenges and Hurdles," National Archives Panel (June 2019)



  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1986
  • Middlebury College, B.A., 1981, cum laude


  • Virginia, 1986



Ms. Comstock is an associate member of the Virginia Bar. She is not engaged in the active practice of law.

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