Senate Veteran Christianna Barnhart Named as ESA SVP of Government Affairs

  • 09.12.2023
  • Press Releases

Washington, D.C., September 12, 2023 – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced that Christianna (Christi) Barnhart has joined the ESA as Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, reporting to President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. As the leader of the ESA’s Government Affairs team, Barnhart will be responsible for driving the trade association’s advocacy efforts on federal and state legislative and regulatory matters that are vital to the industry.

“Christi’s legislative and regulatory experience will add depth and strength to the ESA team, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to leverage her deep expertise in intellectual property, technology and telecommunications policy,” Pierre-Louis said. “For the past several decades, the interactive entertainment industry has been at the forefront of technological innovation, and Christi’s experience will be invaluable to demonstrating the impact and potential of this dynamic industry to policymakers and regulators.”

Barnhart brings 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Most recently, Barnhart served as Senior Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where she led the committee’s technology and telecommunications portfolio focusing on issues related to telecommunications regulation, media policy, broadband deployment, content moderation, wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence. Barnhart’s previous experience includes serving as senior technology and communications counsel to U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and as vice president of regulatory affairs at Charter Communications. In her earlier career, Barnhart held several leadership roles at the Federal Communications Commission, including as an advisor to then-Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and manager of the Rural Health Care universal service support fund.

“For nearly thirty years, the ESA has done incredible work advancing the interests of the U.S. video game industry and has been instrumental in ensuring the industry’s continued vitality and innovation,” Barnhart said. “I look forward to working with policymakers to demonstrate the powerful economic impact and positive benefits video games have on American lives.”

Barnhart will lead the ESA’s advocacy efforts for an industry that represents 212.6 million people – or 65% of Americans – who play video games regularly. According to the ESA’s 2023 Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry report released earlier this year, 96% of Americans view video games as beneficial and agree that games bring people joy, provide mental stimulation, stress relief and create a feeling of community.

For more information on the ESA’s policy priorities and how the video game industry is driving economic opportunity, visit


About the ESA

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) serves as the voice and advocate for the U.S. video game industry. Its members are the innovators, creators, publishers and business leaders who are reimagining entertainment and transforming how we interact, learn, connect and play. The ESA works to expand and protect the dynamic marketplace for video games through innovative and engaging initiatives that showcase the positive impact of video games on people, culture and the economy. For more information, visit the ESA’s website or follow the ESA on Twitter @theESA.

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