M. Anne Swanson

Office Washington DC

Anne is an administrative law expert who helps navigation, aviation, communications, and unmanned vehicle companies solve their regulatory problems. During her 40-plus year career, Anne has become a recognized expert in solving regulatory problems for aviation, communications, and transportation companies. She has worked on a wide variety of agency rulemakings, enforcement matters, mergers, and financial transactions involving GPS and other device manufacturers, media firms, aviation companies, and investors. More and more, her practice focuses on complex spectrum issues and new technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and “smart transportation” systems, particularly those with innovative ideas that have outpaced regulatory regimes.

A DC native, Anne draws on her professional experience in all three branches of government to achieve regulatory “wins” for her clients. Prior to private practice, she served on the White House staff and clerked for two federal judges. While her work frequently focuses initially on agency-based challenges – usually before the FAA, FCC, or NTIA – she has utilized innovative legislative and judicial strategies, when necessary, to obtain the administrative results clients desire. Ms. Swanson has been repeatedly recognized by leading publications like Chambers USA, Legal 500, and Super Lawyers as one of the nation’s top administrative lawyers.

Anne currently serves on the board of the Political Action Committee for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (“AUVSI”). Anne is a past president of AUSVI’s DC Capital Chapter; before that position, she held other chapter leadership roles and served on the chapter’s Executive Committee. In addition, she is a past chair of AUVSI’s National President’s Council. Anne’s previous professional activities have included service as the Federal Communications Bar Association’s (“FCBA”) president and in many other bar and industry positions.

Representative Engagements
  • Obtained only multi-market, multi-station waiver ever issued by FCC for cross-ownership of TV stations and daily newspapers
  • Designed application and obtained first authorizations issued by FAA for commercial drone operations
  • Assisted major GPS manufacturer in successful challenge to application that proposed nationwide operations extending satellite services through terrestrial repeaters
  • Obtained early FAA waiver allowing drone flights over people
  • Assisted major retailer in initial DOT/FAA regulatory approvals and initiatives needed to launch commercial drone package delivery service
See All +
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers for Communications Law (2010 – 2023)
  • Swanson has been consistently recognized by leading publications like Chambers and Partners USA, Legal 500, and Super Lawyers as one of the nation’s top administrative lawyers.
See All +
Pro Bono and Volunteer Projects
  • Board Member, James Renwick Alliance, Washington DC
See All +
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • J.D., Yale Law School
  • L.L.M., Georgetown University Law Center
  • M.P.A, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School
  • B.S.J., West Virginia University