Mary Bono, a former United States congresswoman from California, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998-2013. Since leaving Congress, Mary has developed a robust practice advising businesses and other entities nationwide on legislative, regulatory and policy matters.
In Congress, Mary was known for her skill and passion for building bipartisan consensus and developing win-win solutions that benefitted all parties. As a result, legislation she authored was signed into law by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. At FaegreBD Consulting, Mary utilizes the same results-focused approach to help organizations achieve their policy objectives. She has particular expertise in the telecommunications, energy, health care, land management and water policy sectors.
Business and Policy Strategy
Mary is a visionary, problem-solver and savvy strategist. Businesses, industry groups and other organizations rely on her to develop creative and achievable solutions, unite stakeholders and drive toward results. Mary formulates policy and business strategies that propel companies to the next level. She then creates opportunities by connecting clients with key decision-makers and influencers and advising them on presenting their case effectively and persuasively. Mary has helped clients collaborate with legislators, executive branch officials, regulatory agencies, military leaders, state governments and international diplomats to achieve results.
Mary utilizes her firsthand media relations experience to guide clients on media and communications matters. Communication is a vital component of every business issue and policy campaign. Mary helps clients proactively determine a strategy that supports their overall business and policy goals — even if the strategy is to go dark.
Mary is skilled at helping organizations communicate their position and make their case to both policymakers and the public. She crafts messages and designs communication campaigns that cut through the noise, enhance visibility and influence public opinion.
Technology, Privacy and Cybersecurity
Adept at seeing the big picture, Mary advises on proactive corporate privacy planning. She analyzes and offers guidance on emerging regulations and legislation. Mary also helps companies identify potential threats to information security, develop response strategies, create outreach strategies to address public concerns about privacy, develop crisis and data breach response plans, and monitor and influence policy actions related to privacy.
Mary has experience working closely with various agencies on regulatory issues, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Commerce.
As a longtime member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mary understands the energy industry’s concerns and policy needs. She supports energy players by providing business, policy and communications solutions to the most complex problems companies face. Her involvement on multiple pieces of energy legislation while serving in Congress gives her a unique perspective on these issues as they continue to be deliberated.
Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery
Mary is well known for her willingness to step to the forefront of the nationwide fight against prescription drug abuse. While in Congress, she co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. She continues to be instrumental in promoting drug addiction treatment and recovery through legislative advocacy, communications strategy and education of health care professionals.
Health and Life Sciences
Mary brings practical experience and expertise to health clients after having helped to initiate, develop and pass health care legislation in Congress. She authorized the Ryan White Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law; major Austism bills, including funding for research; and stem cell research. Mary sponsored legislation that provides funding for obesity studies and improved nutrition programs nationwide, and her legislative work also included a bill that calls for country-of-origin labeling for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lands Management and Water Policy
Mary helps clients achieve their visions for federal and private land use in the West. She advises on the land designation process for national parks, national monuments, forest land and more. Mary’s congressional experience in this area includes spearheading passage of legislation that established the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument in the Palm Springs region, a novel approach for balancing private property rights with the preservation of unique natural lands. The Secretary of the Interior cited this legislation as the model for future designations of such nature. Mary was also the driving force behind multiple pieces of legislation that settled decades-old water disputes between water agencies, local governments and local Native American tribes.
During Mary's 15-year congressional career, she served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Small Business Committee. Mary was the first woman to serve as the Republican chairman of the subcommittees on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She was awarded the gavel to chair the prestigious Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, with jurisdiction over the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) and other high-profile agencies.
- National Rx Drug Abuse Summit — Courage Award
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce — Spirit of Enterprise Award
- Independent Women's Forum —Women of Valor Award
- Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America — Champion of the Year
- The Association for Addiction Professionals — Legislator of the Year Award
- National Association of Manufacturers — Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award
- First Focus Campaign for Children — Defender of Children Award
- Mental Health America — Legislator of the Year Award
- National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare — Legislator of the Year Award
- National Farmers Union (NFU) — Golden Triangle Award
- Partnership for a Drug-Free America — Guardian Award
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) — Congressional Honors
- The National Federation of Independent Business — Guardian of Small Business Award
- Politico — One of Five Key Players to Watch in Technology
- Ladies' Home Journal — One of the Most Fascinating Women of the Year
- George Magazine — One of the 20 Most Fascinating Women in Politics
- Faces and Voices of Recovery — Board Member
- Former Members of Congress Association — Treasurer
- PGA REACH — Board of Trustees
- Navy Seal Foundation — Tribute Committee
- Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America — Board Member
- Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse— Co-Founder, Honorary Chairman
- Palm Springs International Film Festival — Honorary Chair
- Preparing Prescribers to Confront the Opioid Crisis
Moderator, Capitol Hill Symposium, Washington, D.C. October 2015
- Pain. Pill. Problem.
Speaker, Minnesota Moving Forward Together, Minneapolis, August 2015
- Taking Action to Address the Nation’s Opioid Crisis
Speaker, National Governors Association, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, July 2015
- Data Solutions for 2015: Legislative, Public Policy and Business Responses
Moderator, From Data Vulnerability in 2014 to Data Solutions in 2015, Faegre Baker Daniels, Minneapolis, March 2015
- Improving Communications With Physicians (moderator), Cracking Down on Unlawful Rx Marketing (moderator) and Realities of Rx Drug Abuse (panelist)
National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, Atlanta, April 22, 2014
- Congressional Briefing on Prescription Drug Overdose
Panelist, Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2014
- Running Dry
Panelist, Symposium on Drought and Water Scarcity in the West, Palm Springs, California, March 20, 2014
- Women in Congressional Leadership
Panelist, Seventh Annual Forum on Women in Leadership, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2014
- Energy & Environmental Policy – A View from the Chairman
Moderator, Energy & Environmental Symposium: A Conversation with National Stakeholders, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2014
- Paralysis, Dysfunction and Gridlock in Washington - and Solutions for Fixing the Mess
Roundtable participant, The Aspen Institute Democracy Series, Washington, D.C., December 18, 2013
- Winning in Washington: When Your "Legal" Problem Requires a D.C. Playbook
Panelist, National Association of Women Lawyers Ninth Annual General Counsel Institute, New York City, November 8, 2013
- Prevention Policy Outlook from Capitol Hill
Q&A, National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Washington, D.C., October 9, 2013
- Breakfast Briefing
Panelist, Indiana Chamber of Commerce D.C. Fly-In, Washington, D.C., September 19, 2013
- Inside Congress: Understanding Congressional Operations
The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., September 17, 2013
- Challenging the Status Quo: Women in Politics
Panelist, Women 2020: Celebrating Progress - How Women Are Changing the World, Washington, D.C., July 18, 2013
- Advocacy 101
12th Annual Association of Recovery Schools Conference, Del Mar, California, July 11, 2013
- California Republican Reformers Conference
Keynote speaker, California Republican Reformers, Santa Barbara, California, June 22, 2013
- Is California Becoming an Energy Island or Part of the Western States Energy Solution?
Moderator, Western Energy Leadership Summit, Keystone, Colorado, May 21, 2013
- Palm Springs International Film Festival
Presenter of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to U2, Palm Springs International Film Society, January 4, 2014
- Power Women in Advocacy Reception
Honorary Host, Professional Women in Advocacy Conference, December 9, 2013
- Recovery for Life Gala
Award presenter, Caron Treatment Centers, October 8, 2013
- Annual Drug-Free Kids Campaign Awards Dinner
Mistress of ceremonies, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), September 24, 2013
- 12th Annual Association of Recovery Schools Conference
Opening session moderator, Association of Recovery Schools, July 11, 2013
- America Honors Recovery
Award presenter, Faces & Voices of Recovery, June 26, 2013
- When Painkillers Kill
Co-Author, USA Today, June 10, 2015
- Data Breach: No Company Immune
Co-Author, Ethanol Producer Magazine, March 2015
- Congress Must Pass Cyber Legislation Before Next Attack
Co-authored with Robert Ehrich and Kathleen Rice, Law360, Oct. 31, 2014
- Congress Needs to Think Twice Before Banning Internet Gaming
Roll Call, February 13, 2014
- Honoring Our Founders, Remembering Our Principles
Real Clear Politics, February 18, 2013
- The Government Needs to Regain the Public's Trust
Politico, April 28, 2010