Mark Estess is widely recognized as one of the top public policy and government affairs advocates in Idaho. With deep ties in Idaho's political, business and legal circles, Mark has represented top-flight clients with local, regional and national operations for decades.
Mark has earned a reputation for effective representation before government agencies and successful advocacy in business and legislative matters. Mark has worked in and with the legislative, regulatory, executive and judicial branches of government, on both sides of the federal-state relationship in Idaho and Washington DC.
Mark leads the work for many of the firm’s clients in Idaho and in Washington, D.C. Mark is adept at advancing clients' interests because he is able to navigate the complex challenges posed by the interplay of laws, public policy, regulation, competition, and economic trends across the fields regulated by federal, state, local, and international jurisdictions.
Mark’s advocacy experience and substantive policy expertise include healthcare, insurance, information technology/software, telecommunications, transportation, public safety, financial services, environmental, trade associations and procurement matters. Mark's previous work includes significant experience as a lobbyist and advisor to corporations and as a senior trade association executive. He began his career in 1988 working on Capitol Hill for then United States Senator Steve Symms. In D.C., he also worked for many years at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, one of the country’s largest and most well-respected international law firms, where as a Senior Advisor he promoted and defended the public policy interests of clients in heavily regulated industries before the US Congress, the executive branch, and federal regulatory bodies and departments affecting businesses and not-for-profit entities.
Mark served as Director of Government Affairs & Communications for the Ada County Association of Realtors and the ACAR Foundation, a membership organization in Idaho with over 3,000 members. As Vice President of Government Affairs for CoCo Communications Corp, Mark led the firm's efforts in DC to encourage the adoption of policies and practices that foster and drive technology innovation, market adoption, research, technology transfer and commercialization for next generation communications technology and services to Homeland Defense, public safety and counterterrorism markets.
Mark has held key positions in several organizations, spearheading and managing a number of successful high profile multi-million dollar technology and systems integration projects. As an in-house consultant to Idaho Power, Mark was responsible for developing and implementing the supply chain procurement, technology solution development and supplier-sourcing strategy for the company's $94 million U.S. Department of Energy sponsored Smart Grid Investment Grant Program. In a voluntary position in which he was appointed by Governor Butch Otter, Mark served on the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Board, chairing the marketplace committee where he provided leadership on all aspects of the design, development and implementation of “Your Health Idaho.”
Mark's current work and expertise was further shaped through years of experience in the public sector, including service with: the United States Senate, the Boise City Prosecuting Attorney's Office, State of Idaho, Department of Commerce - International Trade Division, and AARP Idaho, where he served as State Director for the state & national group, a non-profit, social welfare organization with membership in Idaho of more than 178,000. Mark currently serves as the Executive Director of the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association.
Mark received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Utah. He completed an advanced studies program at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and earned his Juris Doctorate at the University of Idaho, College of Law.