Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

The Gatekeepers

Key contacts to help you open doors in Washington


It was a natural marriage that started from the birth of our "City on the Hill." Washington and Power. Jefferson wanted to create a democracy, but the capital was always set up to have a ruling class, a small group that runs the economy and therefore just about everything else. Yes, power is in abundance in Washington: executive power, judicial power, and legislative power, and the bottom line is that everyone wants their share of it.

But, who are the other gatekeepers, those who are entrusted with care, feeding and handling the long-term welfare of the decision makers? How much power do they really have? They are the maitre d's, P.R. pros, and school admission officials and they have access, in a personal way, to the people everyone wants to know. We all recognize Franco Nuschese at Café Milano, but he is not standing at the door doling out tables and telling you if it will be two hours or two minutes. Laurent Menoud is the man you need to make your pal. Want a direct line to Mrs. Bush? Talk with stylist extraordinaire Nur i Yurt at Toka who coifs her hair almost every day. Need an invite to the Bloomberg party after the White House Cor respondent's Association Dinner? Have a dr ink with Judith Czelusniak, keeper of the list. If you want access to D.C.'s power, it's all about knowing who to call on in the chain of command, and sometimes that's not always at the top. You need to know the silent gatekeepers.

Power is everywhere even in some unexpected places. Here's WL's take on where you might find it.

Admissions Officers
If you have a child, these names should be as familiar to you as George Bush, because they hold the keys to their future-whether he or she will be a golden NCS alumna or a Maret Frog. At cocktail parties, people often act nonchalantly about the whole admissions game, but they are devastated when St. Alban's doesn't send the fat envelope. It's a competitive world and being accepted into "the right school" is vitally important. Here are some of the admissions officers you might want to know.

Lower, Middle and Secondary Schools
Lower School (pre-k - Grade 3)• Margaret Hartigan

British School of Washington
Lower (Nursery - Year 2, Ages 3-5), middle (years 3 -7, Ages 6-10) and Upper School (Years 7-13, ages 11-17) • Anne-Marie Masraff
Episcopal High School Boarding School (Grades 9-12) • Douglas Price

Foxcroft • All Girls
Boarding School (Grades 9-12) • Becky Gilmore

Georgetown Day School
Lower, Middle and Upper School (Pre-k - Grades 12) • Vince Rowe

Georgetown Preparatory School • All Boys
Secondary School (Grades 9-12) • Michael Horsey

Georgetown Visitation • All Girls
Secondary School (Grades 9-12) • Janet Donnelly Keller
Holton Arms • All Girls School
Lower grades 3-6), Upper School (Grades 7-8) and Upper School (Grades 9-12) • Sharron K. Rodgers

Landon • All Boys
Lower School (Grades 3-5) • Carole Kerns
Middle School (grades 6-8) • Russell L. Gagarin
Upper School (grades 9-12) • George Mulligan Director of Admissions • Russell L. Gagarin

The Madeira School • All Girls Boarding and Day School (Grades 9-12) • Ann Miller

Lower school (grades K-4) • Elila Levinson Middle School(grades 5-8) • Morley Clearly
upper school (Grades 9-12) • Zaw Lyn
drector of Admissions • Annie Farquhar

National Cathedral School • All Girls
Lower School(Grades4-6) • Mary Hemphill
Middle School (Grades 7-8) • Erica Hill
Upper School (Grades 9-12) • Denise C. Buchanan, Director of Admissions

The Potomac School
Lower School (Grades k-3) • Anna Ellenbogen
Middle School (Grades 4-8) • Ed Wokind
Upper School (Grades 9-12) • Charlotte Nelsen

Sidwell Friends
Lower (Grades Pre-k-3),
Middle (Grades 4-8) and
Upper School (Grades9-12) • Joshua P. Wolman

St. Albans • All Boys
Lower School(grades 4-8)and
Upper School (Grades 9-12) • Mason Lecky

St. Patrick's Episcopal school
lower School (Grades Nursery-8) • Jennifer Danish

Stone Ridge • All Girls
lower School (Grades K-4) and
Middle School (Grades 4-8) • Sr. Karen Olson
Upper School (grades 9-12) • Michelle McPherson

Georgetown University

Thomas Jefferson High school for Technology and Science
Upper School (Grades 9-12) • Christel Payne

Washington International School
Lower and Upper School (pre-K - Grade 12) • Dorrie Fuchs

American University • Sharon Alston

Georgetown University • Charles Deacon

George Washington University • Dr. Katherine Napper

Howard University • Linda Sanders-Hawkins





Café Milano DC Coast

In his bestselling book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the phrase "the connectors." Washington's connectors can definitely include managers and maitre d's at high-end restaurants. You don't just give them your name and wait for a response about your wait time. These are the people that are in charge of entertaining Washington's elite and they are connected. Sen. Hillary Clinton boasts that Café Milano is a personal favorite and recently celebrated a birthday dinner there. When the manager of The Palm, Tommy Jacomo, celebrated 30 years at the restaurant, a who's who of D.C. showed up, including Tim Russert and several senators. If you want that table by the window or any table on a Saturday night, these are some of the people you should know.


Café Milano •Laurent Menoud
Charlie Palmer Steak •Brian Voltaggio
Citronelle •Jean Jacques
Retourne Cityzen • Mark Politzer
Clyde's • Kyle Gaffney
DC Coast • Jennifer Roe
Indebleu • Jay Coldren
Kinkead's • Mimi Schneider
Le Paradou • Aykan Demiroglu
Mate • Osmar Nunez
Mie N Yu • Ashley Williams and Bezawait Mane
Oya • Marcus Brady
The Palm • Tommy Jacomo
Rosa Mexicano • Nikki Lewis
Seasons at the Four Seasons • Julie Saunders
1789 • William Watts
Teatro goldoni • Ingrid Aielli
Zola • Jennifer Burlew


Jeff Kimbell

Private Clubs
Every city has its clubs, a place to separate the ins from the outs. In Washington, these rank among the most exclusive and hardest to get into in the world. Not even the title of Supreme Court justice could get Sandra Day O'Connor a membership to the very elite Alibi club which limits its membership to 50. It's rumored that Congressional Country Club snubbed former President Clinton after his presidency ended because they wanted to maintain a conservative membership base. And it wasn't so far back that the Chevy Chase Club started accepting Jewish members. All the local clubs have their pecking orders, waiting lists and their "rules and regulations." If you're thinking about joining anytime soon, these are the folks to know.

Alibi Club
The Honorable Roger Kirk,

Proctor Army Navy Club
Gen. William Maloney, President

City Tavern Club
Jeff Kimbell, President

Chevy chase Club
J. Edmund Willington, III, President

Columbia Country Club
Martin R. West, III, President

Congressional Country Club
John F. O'Neil, Jr., President

Cosmos Club
Joseph R. Gunn, President

Georgetown Club
John Guttenburg, President of Board of Directors

Metropolitan Club
Robin Martin, President

Sulgrave Club
Catherine Eshelman, President

University Club
Richard J. McBride, Jr., President


Lobbyists have access to the most powerful people in town. They can get a meeting with Sen. Ted Stevens just before appropriations time, or a dinner with an undecided vote. While we like to think this is a country "by and of the people," the reality is that lobbyists have an insiders' view on who and what wins or loses here.

Li nda Daschle Thoma s Boggs Ken Duberstein

Gary Andres, Dutko Worldwide
Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs
Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates
Howard Cohen, HC Associates Inc.
Linda Daschle, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
Dennis DeConcini, Parry, Romani, DeConcini & Symms
Kenneth Duberstein, Duberstein Group
Vic Fazio, Clark & Weinstock
Harold Ford Sr., Harold Ford & Co.
Ed Gillespie, Quinn Gillespie
G.O. Lanny Griffith. Barbour, Griffith and Rogers
Larry Harlow, Timmons & Co.
Mark Isakowitz, Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock
Joel Jankowsky, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld
Joel Johnson, Glover Park Group
Bob Livingston, The Livingston Group Bob
Michel, Hogan & Hartson
George Mitchell, Piper Rudnick Former
Bruce Mehlman, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Mehlman
Loren Monroe, Barbour Griffith & Rogers
Jim Pitts, D.C. Navigators
Anthony Podesta, PodestaMattoon
Jack Quinn, Quinn Gillespie
Thomas Quinn, Venable
Steve Ricchetti, Ricchetti Inc.
Aubrey Rothrock, Patton Boggs
Tim Rupli, Rupli and Associates
Vin Weber, Clark & Weinstock
Juleanna Glover Weiss, Ashcroft Group
Anne Wexler, Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates

Charities and organizations
Washington's many social institutions and charities provide access to the power players. Want to get to know Supreme Court justices? They like to attend events at the National Gallery. Though rarely seen outside the Pentagon and White House, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz are fans of the Washington National Opera and recently attended its Golden Gala. Though many current Administration big-wigs are less social than their predecessors, they'll gladly lend support if the cause is right. These charities are some of the best at bringing out the power.

Sharon Stone
Eva Longoria
Kim K lein, Jen Haber and Cathy Merrill Williams

Best Buddies
Best Friends Foundation
The Cathedral Choral Society
Charity Works
The Corcoran Gallery of Art
Fight for Childen, Inc.
Folger Shakespeare Library
Generation Engage
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Meridian International Center
The National Gallery of art
The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts National
Museum of Women in the Arts
The National Symphony
The Phillips Collection
The Shakespeare Theatre
The Smithsonian Institution
Starlight Foundation
The Washington Ballet
The Washington Nationals Foundation
The Washington National Opera
Vital Voices

Amy Argetsinger

Press and PR
If you're sipping your cocktail at a restaurant opening and wondering who half the people are, more likely than not they are the public relations representatives and social reporters who have this town in their Blackberries. Their job is to know who's in and who's out and to help make the difference. Here are just some of the folks you should know.

Mary Ann Akers, Roll Call
Amy Argetsinger, The Washington Post
Kevin Chaffee, The Washington Times
Jeff Dufour, The Hill
Karen Feld, The Examiner
Harry Jaffe, The Washingtonian
Linda Kramer, People magazine
Bob Madigan, WTOP
John McCaslin, The Washington Times
Roxanne Roberts, The Washington Post
Susan Watters, WWD Daily, W

Thea Bowers, Thea Bowers & Assoc.
Judith Czelusniak, Bloomberg Party PR
Susan davis, Susan Davis International
Janet Donovan, Creative Enterprises, Inc.
Heather Freeman, Heather Freeman
Media Leslie Hayes, Hayes and Associates
Joan Hisaoka, Hisaoka Public Relations
Mary Jo Klein Ann Walker Marchant, Walker Marchant Group
Carolyn Peachey, Cambpell/Peachey Associates
Ellen Proxmire Linda Roth, Linda Roth & Assoc.
Jan Staihar

These concierges keep their rolodexes fat and know all the best maitre' d's and travel agents in town. They can help find those last minute Wizards tickets, or book you for a blow-dry appointment at Salon George.

Four Seasons
The Ritz Carlton
Mandarin Oriental

Four Seasons
Javier Loureiro (202) 342-0444

The Jefferson
Gabi Steiner (202) 347-2200

The Madison
Tony Brown, BB Hallarez and Radmilla Jackovich (202) 862-3740

Mandarin Oriental
Samir Abdelgelil, Daniel Klibanoff, Clyde Eads, Lynn Hight and Ryad Kouidri (202) 554-8588

Renaissance Mayflower
Ronny Monfort (202) 347-4430

Ritz Carlton, Downtown (Sports Club LA)
Chiaki Adams, Michael High, Mardy Babineauand and Robert Bornschein (202) 835-0550

Ritz Carlton, Georgetown
Charles Gilbert, Gary Chou, Emma Hutchinson, Mayumi Hu, Jeremy Bartel and Joshua Cummings (202) 638-2626

Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner
Nick Carbonara, Rudi Gocer and Dwayne Coleman (703) 506-4300

St. Regis
James Roberts (202) 638-2626

The Willard
Robert Watson (202) 628-9100



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