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ESA hires Senate vet Barnhart as SVP of government affairs

ESA hires Senate vet Barnhart as SVP of government affairs

US video games trade body the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has hired Christianna Barnhart as its senior vice president of government affairs.

She previously has worked in the US Senate twice; the first round was between 2011 and 2014, when she held attorney advisor and acting legal advisor positions. Barnhart's second stint was from 2019 until the present day, starting as a senior communications and technology policy counsel before rising to senior counsel for the committee on commerce, science and transportation.

That's on top of positions in the private sector, including a role as VP of regulator affairs for Charter Communications.

“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,” ESA president Stanley 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 added: “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. I look forward to working with policymakers to demonstrate the powerful economic impact and positive benefits video games have on American lives.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.