Cheryl Leanza

Of Counsel

Tel: (202) 370-5316


At a Glance

Cheryl has more than 25 years of experience in communications law and is a widely noted leader in equity in access to communications.
Cheryl is an experienced appellate litigator in federal court, including as lead counsel for several public interest organizations before the Third Circuit and as co-counsel before the U.S. Supreme Court in Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communications Commission.
Cheryl has wide-ranging contacts throughout the FCC and on Capitol Hill, enabling her to make contact with key players and obtain results.

Cheryl A. Leanza has been practicing communications law for more than 25 years with a wide scope of practice including Internet access, broadcast and cable regulation, social media corporate accountability and affordability in communications. Cheryl is skilled in appellate litigation and representing clients before the Federal Communications Commission and Congress. Cheryl plays a key role at the intersection of civil rights and communications policy and is a nationally recognized authority in equity in access to communications. Cheryl is particularly adept at finding agreements and policy solutions that are strategic, politically viable and legally airtight.
Cheryl has successfully litigated on behalf of her clients challenging FCC decisions in federal court, including Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communications Commission before the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. She plays a critical role in  Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Telecommunications litigation team, taking lead roles in defending local government interests in cable franchising matters in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and appealing the FCC’s small cell decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Cheryl is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third, Fourth, Sixth and Ninth circuits.
FCC & Congress
Cheryl has counseled dozens of clients through FCC rulemaking proceedings as well as clients seeking licenses and renewals before the FCC, including a municipally owned utility and non-commercial radio stations and their trade associations. Cheryl has wide-ranging contacts throughout the FCC and on Capitol Hill, enabling her to quickly make contact with key players and obtain results. Cheryl was instrumental helping to develop and pass Congress’ Emergency Broadband Benefit at the end of 2020 and the Local Community Radio Act of 2010. Cheryl previously served as principal legislative counsel for telecommunications at the National League of Cities, where she was lead lobbyist for local elected officials.

Cheryl provides clients with white papers, strategic advice and overviews of the communications policy space in Washington, D.C., orienting clients to the multiple levers available to obtain desired policy outcomes and successfully pursuing long-term and short-term goals.


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, M.P.P., cum laude
  • Boston University, B.A. summa cum laude


  • District of Columbia
  • New York


  • Federal Communications Bar Association; former member of Executive Committee; former trustee of the FCBA Foundation
  • American Constitution Society


  • D.C. Impact Outstanding Advocate Award, National Hispanic Media Coalition, 2018
  • Top 25 Leadership Award, Rainbow/PUSH Media & Telecommunications, 2013

Contact Cheryl Leanza

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