Veronica O’Connell: 40 Under 40

The young lobbyists with the most influence in Washington

Name: Veronica O'Connell
Firm: Consumer Electronics Association
Age: 38

As vice president of congressional affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association, O’Connell has championed the interests of the group’s member companies during a number of key legislative debates.

Last year, she was busy drafting and advocating for amendments to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010—a bill that aimed to ensure that technologies such as smart phones were user-friendly for people with disabilities. O’Connell helped shape the legislation so that it doesn’t require every product to be accessible to people with every kind of disability but rather requires manufacturers to offer various devices—some catering to the blind, some better for the deaf, and so on—for consumers to choose from. This was a much easier standard for the companies that belong to the association, such as Motorola and Samsung, to meet.

This article appears in the June 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She has recently written about the Marriott family’s civil war and the 50-year rebirth of 14th Street, and reported the definitive oral history of the Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt case. She lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.