- Full Name Amanda Makki
- Occupation Politician, Republican Attorney
"Many Republicans across the country have used pictures of the President and his family in campaign material as a show of support for him and his family. I will continue to be a steadfast supporter of our President and have the utmost respect for Don Jr. and their entire family."
Amanda Makki | Biography 2021Director of External Affairs and FDA Legislation of the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, Partner of the law firm K&L Gates
In 2019, Amanda Makki was appointed as a Republican candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District 2020. She was endorsed by over 20 House Republican leaders, including Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Elise Stefanik. However, she lost the Republican primary to Anna Paulina Luna by 7% votes.
Amanda Makki was a Republican candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District in 2020.
Who is Amanda Makki?
Amanda Makki comes from an immigrant family from Iran. She graduated in Finance and Business Management from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2000. In 2005, she completed her Juris Doctorate (JD) in Law from the Catholic University of America.
During her student years, Makki worked at the United States Department of Defense and interned at the United States Senate. After the law degree, she briefly worked as a Senior Health Advisor for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry at the US House of Representatives. Between 2007 and 2014, she worked as the Senior Health Advisor for Senator Lisa Murkowski at the United States Senate.
Then, from 2015 to 2017, Makki was the Director of External Affairs and FDA Legislation at the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. From 2017 to 2019, she was a partner at the nation's premier firm, K&L Law Firm.
Subsequently, in 2019, Makki was appointed as a Republican candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District. She was endorsed by over 20 House Republican leaders, including Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Elise Stefanik.
However, she lost the Republican primary to Anna Paulina Luna by 7% votes.
Further, she made a compelling argument on the Biden administration's lack of concerns towards the border issue in the Rio Grande valley. She claimed it does not fall into the promise of care and protection that the administration had made to women and children.
Amanda Makki was born in Iran. During the 1979 revolution, her family fled the country due to fear of persecution and settled in America. Makki was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland.
After coming to America, her father enrolled in medical school to become a doctor. Her mother became a childcare provider while also delivering Yellow Pages to make ends meet. From then, Makki learned the value of money and freedom. She took up a part-time job at the age of nine to take some burden off her family.
While the details about her school education were not available, Makki went on to study a year-long course in General Business Administration and Management at George Washington University. During her time at the University from 1996 to 1997, she was in the collegiate group of Republicans.
In 2000, she graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and Business Management. During her curriculum, she became the Finance Chairman of the College Republicans and was also appointed as the teaching assistant to marketing Professor William Nickels from January to March 2000.
In 2002, Makki joined the Catholic University of America's law school, The Columbus School of the Law, to study Law.
Her final year doctoral research was on ‘The Congressional Response to the Medical Malpractice Crisis’. Followed by that, she was one of the honor students of the year 2003 and 2004 and she was also elected to judge the prominent honor code and bylaw defilements in the university. She eventually graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) in Law in 2005.
After graduating from the University of Maryland, Makki worked at the United States Department of Defense and Interim Top Secret (TS) Clearance of the Pentagon as a Confidential Assistant along with
During her days there from 2001 to 2002, Makki worked as an assistant to the Department of the Army's General Counsel and the Secretary of the United States Army. She served as a liaison between the legal department of the Secretary of the Army and the five Assistant Secretaries of the Department of the Army.
Then, during her legal studies in 2004, she interned at the United States Senate. She was under the chairmanship of Judd Gregg (R-NH) at the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
She was an assistant to the staff of the chairman and she also participated in committee activities on medical malpractice, drug reimportation, medical device, and important FDA problems.
Senior Health Advisory for Senate Jeff Fortenberry
Subsequently, after her law degree, Makki briefly worked as a Senior Health Advisor for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry at the US House of Representatives from 2006 to 2007.
She was in charge of giving legal assistance and working with the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees on tax-advantaged healthcare accounts and developing small business objectives. Along with that she also worked on issues relating to rural hospitals, such as Medicare reimbursement for Critical Access Hospitals.
Senior Health Advisory for Senate Lisa Murkowski
Makki was then appointed as the Senior Health Advisor for Senator Lisa Murkowski at the United States Senate. She worked there from 2007 to 2014. During her seven years, she covered numerous working plans of the Senate, including the development of healthcare legislation, amendments, and overall messaging and policy strategy for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
Further, she provided guidelines on federal healthcare legislation including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act followed by the 2007 and 2012 Prescription Drug User Fee (PDUFA)and Medical Device User Fee Acts along with the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Reauthorization.
As the only female Republican member of the HELP Committee representing a predominantly rural state, Makki provided advice on rural health and women's health problems. And during the HELP Committee mark-up and discussion on the Senate Floor, she fought for priority legislative efforts on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by negotiating several amendments. She also gave public testimony to the Food and Drug Administration on behalf of ALS patient activists.
She primarily advised on the production of materials and organized public events to educate business organizations about the healthcare law's implications for their industry. She promoted the dissemination of healthcare policy information and acted as a mentor to four Legislative Correspondents.
Other than that, Makki was selected by the George W. Bush Administration to serve as the Army General Counsel at the Pentagon barely weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks as a Farsi language speaker. Makki went on to work in both the Senate and the House of Representatives as a top Republican healthcare advisor.
Novo Nordisk and K&L Gates
In 2014, for her experience at the Senate, Makki had been appointed as the Director of External Affairs and FDA Legislation at the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. She effectively increased Federal appropriations funding for preventive initiatives for type 2 diabetes, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, by working with the diabetes-focused patient, provider, and other healthcare groups.
She was in charge of Novo Nordisk's House and Senate Political Action activities and led the company's efforts on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 2017.
Makki left Novo Nordisk in 2017 and joined a law firm K&L Gates as a partner. She was the youngest partner of the firm, attaining the position before 40. She advised clients on healthcare issues, including federal law, public policy, and commercial interests. She also counseled clients on policy changes and how to react to congressional investigations.
Makki also assisted Legal Counsel for the Elderly, a major supplier of free legal services, as part of the firm's pro bono initiatives.
Makki for Congress
Eventually, in 2019, Makki left K&L Gates and entered the political arena. She was nominated as a Republican candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District. Over two dozen House Republican leaders, including Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Elise Stefanik, had endorsed her.
2020 Ballot and Trump
Makki then ran for the 2020 Republican House Primary election. She sent out a mailer with a photo of herself and Donald Trump Jr. during her campaign. The addition of the Trump family as a supporter was highly criticized.
Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement expressing his displeasure with the usage of Trump Jr. for campaign marketing and claimed that he did not endorse Makki.
Makki issued a counter-statement asserting that she did not use the picture for endorsement purposes but rather to express her support for the presidential family. Her statement followed, "Many Republicans across the country have used pictures of the President and his family in campaign material as a show of support for him and his family. I will continue to be a steadfast supporter of our President and have the utmost respect for Don Jr. and their entire family."
However, Makki lost the Republican primary to Anna Paulina Luna on August 18, 2020. She was one of the top three candidates with more than 10% of the vote, with Luna receiving 36% and Makki receiving 29%.
Upcoming 2021 Elections
In June 2021, Makki declared that she would be running for office in the next election.
About her opponent Luna, she said, "If Luna can't handle running against another candidate, then she doesn't have the temperament to be in politics. I really think that she's exhibiting behavior that I would say is concerning."
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Luna, who former President Donald Trump has backed, received a temporary restraining order against fellow Republican William Braddock.
In court filings, Luna alleged that Braddock and her other "political opponents," Matt Tito and Amanda Makki, were conspiring to "take her out," according to the article. She also said that she learned about a murder plot by Braddock, to kill her.
"I'm still shocked. It's still very bizarre to me that my name is involved in this," Makki said to ABC Action News.
Later it was revealed that Braddock was covertly caught stating that he had connections to a Ukrainian-Russian ‘hit squad’ and that Luna might be ‘taken out.’ That compelled Luna to secure an injunction against him, and on the paper, Makki was also mentioned.
Luna noted that she has obtained evidence proving that Braddock stated that he was cooperating with other political competitors, including Makki.
After the filings, St. Petersburg Police Department made inquiries and found corroborative evidence against Braddock. As a result, he resigned from his position of the party. However, Makki’s role in the threat was never proven and she also claimed of never having any information on Braddock’s alleged actions.
Nevertheless, Makki's lawyer subsequently contacted Luna's lawyer, requesting that they either submit all proof confirming Makki's involvement in the conspiracy or publish a retraction and apologies. Makki reported that she never received an answer from her lawyer.
Open Border Policies
In the June 2021 interview, Makki fiercely condemned the Biden administration in dealing with the southern border order problem. She stated that former president Trump went to the heart of the issue and visited the Mcallen border of the lower Rio Grande Valley, where the border security officers were working tirelessly to secure the border.
And the Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to El Paso for the same issue, she claimed, was not the epicenter of the concern.
Furthermore, she added Harris was pressured to go after Trump announced that he would be going to the border to check the status quo personally. She also appreciated Trump for his meticulous planning that made Harris visit El Paso, or else she wouldn't have gone there.
She further explained about Trump’s involvement on the Southern trip, “You know she [Harris] went because president trump was going there he in effect put pressure on her and I think that was the genius of this all is that president trump waited a hundred days for her to be in that role about six months into this administration and none of them went not the President, not the Vice President they never went and it didn't happen until Trump said, ‘I'm going to the border and I'm taking my house colleagues with me and Governor Abbott is inviting me to go’ when she then decided she would make her trip. I can assure you that she would never have gone to the border she would never have gone to El Paso she would have never gone to the state of Texas…”
She expressed her deep concerns on the Biden administration's pledge about taking care of children and women. She also condemned that they are allowing the humanitarian crisis to occur on the border, sexual assaults, and victims of sexual crimes paying money to get into the United States.
Makki follows Christianity and is an active visitor of the Starkey Road Baptist Church. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, since 2015. Makki is fluent in Spanish. She avidly enjoys fishing, cycling, and golfing.