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Leigh N. Whitaker
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Leigh N. Whitaker

Principal - Government Relations

Philadelphia, PA
 
 
 

How Leigh Helps Clients

Leigh’s 20-year career in government relations has been focused on tackling complex issues and building creative strategies to find solutions. 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. She has spent her career connecting businesses and institutions to community stakeholders and government officials in order to create productive relationships.

Most recently, she 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.

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 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.

What Clients Can Expect

Leigh is a dynamic, collaborative professional who is motivated by solving complex problems and acts as a connector for her clients and key stakeholders. She also deeply immerses herself in her client’s business and industry to understand their goals. With her knowledge of the legislative and political landscape, she advises clients on how to implement both short and long-term strategy to move their business or organization forward.

Outside the Office

Leigh enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. She is also an avid reader.

Proof Points

  • Successfully negotiated Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) on behalf of local casino with three community-based organizations in the area, delivering a minimum of $15M over the life of the agreement.
  • Served as operations liaison on the casino construction team for $165M expansion project.
  • Managed the development and implementation of the PennAssist Program, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, and the General Building Contractors Association, as part of the construction of Penn’s new $1B hospital.
  • Spearheaded successful plan to secure $30M+ in state discretionary appropriations in addition to $20M+ in federal discretionary appropriations annually for local school district.
  • Secured legislative approvals for more than $1B in university capital projects.