Shawnda Martin



Shawnda Martin is currently a Director at The Cypress Group where she focuses on healthcare, retirement, labor and pensions issues. Prior to joining The Cypress Group, she served as a Senior Analyst in the Office of Government Affairs at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In this role, she served as an expert on federal legislative issues pertinent to FINRA and the securities industry. Shawnda monitored, tracked and analyzed legislation, often providing written analyses to senior management on proposed bills. She also monitored Capitol Hill hearings and prepared hearing briefings and background memorandums to senior leadership. Moreover, she spent time establishing and building strong relationships with legislators, policy makers, and trade associations within the financial services industry. Lastly, Shawnda organized investor education events for Members of Congress and congressional caucuses.

Within FINRA, she built a strong network of trusted relationships with other business units (i.e. Office of General Counsel, Enforcement, Member Supervision) to gain a deeper knowledge of each business unit and the securities industry. Additionally, Shawnda worked closely with the Diversity Leadership Council to strategize on methods to enhance the diverse and inclusive work environment at FINRA.

Prior to joining FINRA, Shawnda served as the State Affairs Counsel at the Financial Services Institute where she focused on researching, analyzing, and interpreting state legislation, regulations and rules. Moreover, she advocated for or against legislation before state legislators and prepared written communications for members and senior leadership to update them on relevant legislation and regulations. Lastly, she wrote regulatory comment letters for proposed rules/regulations to state securities regulators.

Shawnda is originally from North Carolina where she has experience working on campaigns and in the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. She attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she earned her BA in political science. She received her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Washington, DC.


BA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
J.D., North Carolina Central University School of Law