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PHILADELPHIA (October 2023) – Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s government relations section continues to grow with the addition of Leigh Whitaker as a Principal in the firm’s Philadelphia office. Combining both her legal background and depth of experience in the City of Philadelphia, she is uniquely suited to advocate on behalf of clients before the city’s government, and in Harrisburg.

“We are thrilled to welcome Leigh to our Philadelphia office,” said Leslie Gromis Baker, managing director of state and federal government relations at Buchanan. “Throughout her career, Leigh has been a leader at every organization she served, pushing initiatives forward, whether securing funding or permits for major projects or building coalitions with key stakeholders to come to a solution. With that experience, our clients will want her to help them navigate issues before the city’s government.”

Whitaker previously served as Director of City Relations for the University of Pennsylvania. She led the city government relations program and advised University leadership on opportunities for strategic advancement of academic, administrative and operational goals. She also coordinated with stakeholders at the federal and state level, as well as community stakeholders. She supported a wide range of projects including real estate planning, permitting and development, and workforce development initiatives.

“With the firm’s deep roots in Pennsylvania and stellar reputation, Buchanan was the right choice for me,” said Whitaker. “I look forward to working with clients to tackle complex issues and create short-term and long-term strategies to drive successful initiatives.”

Prior to her role at the University of Pennsylvania, she served as Vice President, Communications at SugarHouse (now Rivers) Casino and oversaw the casino’s government relations campaigns. In the role, she also served as a liaison for the communications, diversity and legislative staff at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. She also previously served the School District of Philadelphia as Deputy Chief of Staff for External Affairs where she developed the legislative agenda for the School District at the city, state, and federal level.

Whitaker serves as board chair for the Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation which oversees Philadelphia Gas Works. She also serves as Board Vice President for Welcome America, Inc. and as Board Chair for KIPP Administrative Services Corporation. She is a member of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority Board of Directors.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Clark Atlanta University and a law degree from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania.