Tony's BioTony Essalih joined Cornerstone in 2011 as a co-lead of the firm’s flagship Texas office in Houston. He spent 12 years on Capitol Hill and came to Cornerstone from the office of Rep. John Culberson (R-TX). Tony worked for Rep. Culberson for 10 years, the last five as his chief of staff. Prior to becoming chief of staff, Tony served in a variety of capacities including legislative assistant, legislative director, communications director, and deputy chief of staff. He spent eight years in Washington, D.C. before relocating to Houston in 2007.
As chief of staff, Tony was responsible for guiding the day-to-day operations of Rep. Culberson’s Washington and Houston offices, and oversaw a 15-member staff under a fixed budget. Outside of the office, he served as the principal liaison to Rep. Culberson’s campaign committee and provided strategic counsel and advice related to his re-election efforts. Tony’s areas of policy expertise include transportation, energy, budget and appropriations. Tony also led outreach efforts and served as an emissary on behalf of Rep. Culberson with state lawmakers in Austin and local elected officials in Houston.
Prior to Culberson’s election in 2001, Tony worked as a legislative assistant for Rep. Culberson’s predecessor, former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer. Tony’s began his tenure on Capitol Hill with former House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.
Tony has advised and assisted numerous local, state, and federal campaigns. He serves on the board of the National InterFaith Foundation, the Advisory Board for the Houston Technology Center, spent two years on the Board of the Spring Branch Medical Center and was a member of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s transition team in 2010.
Tony was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Mary Washington College. He was a member of Mary Washington’s NCAA semifinalist men’s soccer team. He lives in Houston and has two angelic daughters, Grace and Libby.