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Former House Staffer Joins MPAA | Hill Climber

Shanna Winters, a former Democratic Hill staffer who began her career in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, joined the Motion Picture Association of America recently as the Hollywood trade group’s senior vice president of global policy.

Winters spent eight years in the House working for Democratic Rep. Eliot L. Engel of New York and former Democratic Rep. Howard L. Berman of California. She worked most recently on the House Foreign Affairs Committee as the Democratic chief counsel. She previously worked for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet . Winters said her background prepared her well for the move.

“What’s very exciting is  . . .  looking at all these new, exciting distribution models that would come up in the context of [the] Internet working to get more content to more consumers,” Winters said. “I was exposed early on to any number of the policy debates and I think that will be extremely helpful where I am.”

The addition of Winters grows the two-year-old global policy division and follows a series of MPAA hires of former Hill staffers and government employees. MPAA Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Dodd, the former Connecticut senator, said in a statement that Winters’ experience would be valuable as movie studios expand globally. Winters will oversee MPAA policy and day-to-day global policy operations.

The MPAA spent more than $700,000 on lobbying in the second quarter and has spent more than $1.6 million this year, according to federal filings.