Meet Our Expert - Jean Cantrell - State and Federal Communications

March 21, 2024  •  

Meet Our Expert – Jean Cantrell

As a seasoned government relations professional, State and Federal Communications, Inc., was thrilled to bring on Jean Cantrell as the company’s first senior advisor in January, 2022, with a particular focus on stakeholder management

Because of her vast experience in the industry, President and CEO Elizbeth Bartz felt Jean’s insights and expertise would be valuable when it came to stakeholder outreach and management.

“I like to think I provide a bit of a fresh perspective. As a former State and Federal client, I had the opportunity to walk in our clients’ shoes,” Jean explained.

Jean was a former client when she worked at Dun & Bradstreet, a commercial data and analytics business. This was Jean’s first job in the government relations industry, where she began as the Administrator of the company’s political action committee. Twenty years later, Jean assumed the role as leader/head of government relations at Dun & Bradstreet.

“The bottom line is I had a spectacular mentor. I started in the proverbial mail room at the lowest rung of the ladder and worked my way up,” she said.

She leveraged her experience and moved to other GR positions for companies, like Circuit City, EDS (now HP), and Philips, where she started its first state government relations program.

Jean’s expertise extends beyond the workplace, too. She has been a volunteer with the Commission on Presidential Debates since 1988 and worked with the Commission to set up presidential debate watches on more than 500 college campuses. She has served in a number of leadership positions:  President of both the Washington Area State Relations Group and the State Government Affairs Council, was Vice President of the NCSL Foundation, and co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Business Council.

Jean has two guiding philosophies when it comes to work and life: meet people “where they live” and leverage your knowledge and experience.

“If you’re working with a potential client, you want to understand what their pain points are, and avoid assuming they’re at Point A when they may be at Point B,” she explains.

She also suggests, “The other thing is use every resource at your disposal to be the best you can be in your job.”

Mentorship is also incredibly important to Jean. Because her mentor had so much to do with her success, Jean strives to intentionally pay it forward and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others.


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State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting

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