February 21, 2024
The Honorable Phil Mendelson
Council of the District of Columbia
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 504
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Chairman Mendelson:
In accordance with section 2 of the Confirmation Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-
142; D.C. Official Code § 1-523.01), and section 5 of the Office of and Commission on Nightlife and
Culture Establishment Act of 2018, effective December 13, 2018 (D.C. Law 22-191; D.C. Official
Code § 3-664), I am pleased to nominate the following individual:
Mr. Vinoda Basnayake
L Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
(Ward 2)
for reappointment as the owner of a business holding an on-premises retailer’s license member of the
Commission on Nightlife and Culture, for a term to end March 15, 2025.
Enclosed, you will find biographical information detailing the experience of the above-mentioned
nominee, together with a proposed resolution to assist the Council during the confirmation process.
I would appreciate the Council’s earliest consideration of this nomination for confirmation. Please
do not hesitate to contact me, or Steven Walker, Director, Mayor’s Office of Talent and
Appointments, should the Council require additional information.
Muriel Bowser
3 at the request of the Mayor
15 To confirm the reappointment ofVinoda Basnayake to the Commission on Nightlife and Culture.
18 resolution may be cited as the "Commission on Nightlife and Culture Vinoda Basnayake
19 Confirmation Resolution of 2024".
20 Sec. 2. The Council of the District of Columbia confirms the reappointment of:
22 Mr. Vinoda Basnayake
23 L Street NW
24 Washington, DC 2003 7
25 (Ward 2)
27 as the owner of a business holding an on-premises retailer's license member of the Commission
28 on Nightlife and Culture, pursuant to section 5 of the Office of and Commission on Nightlife and
29 Culture Establishment Act of 2018, effective December 13, 2018 (D.C. Law 22-191; D.C.
30 Official Code§ 3-664), for a term to end March 15, 2025.
31 Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia shall transmit a copy of this resolution,
32 upon its adoption, to the nominee and to the Office of the Mayor.
33 Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
Versus Equity, Washington DC
Founder, Principal 2004-Present
= Member of business partnership that identified business opportunities to acquire and manage
numerous lifestyle hospitality companies including lounges, restaurants and salon/spas
= Company has been acclaimed on MIV, Washington Post, Time, New York Times and numerous other
* Over $7 million in retail sales in 2016 from Kabin, Heist, Karma Beauty Lounge, Sheppard and Ivy Room.
Nelson Mullins, LLP, Washington DC
Of Counsel, Chair of DC Government Relations 2014- Present
= Attomey in the firm’s international public policy practice with a focus on sovereign representation
= Securedandoversee over $3M in business annually
* Prepare and implement government relations strategies and political and legal analysis for foreign
= Assist U.S. companies and entities looking to conduct business abroad through advisory services including
assistance with foreign business expansion, government relations, public affairs and specialized market
= Established and chaired DC government relations practice with over $1.6 M in originations
= Represent Fortune 500 companies, real estate developers, industry associations and a hostof other clients to
the Officeofthe Mayor, City Council and DC government agencies
Patton Boggs, LLP, Washington DC
Associate, Special Advisor 2008-2014
= Attomey and advisor in the firm’s government relations practice with a specialty in intemational public
policy and sovereign representation
* Advised foreign governments on U.S. policy and on how best to enhance their relationships with the U.S.
government and advocate their policy objectives
* Organizedandparticipated in congressional delegations, trade missions, and regional economic
conferences for sovereign clients
International Gateway, International Trade Center, Washington DC
Interim Director 2006
= Liaised with government, diplomaticandbusiness leaders regarding international trade opportunities and
= Developed and directed international trade-related activities and seminars focused on U.S. trade promotion
‘The World Bank, Development Economics Group, Washington DC
FinancialAnalyst, Junior Professional Associate (JPA) Program 2003-2005
= Projected and forecasted extemal debtofdeveloping nations using World Bank Extemal Debt Systems
(WBXD) model
* Completed missions to numerous nations to participate in negotiations with the Ministries of Finance of
client countries
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., May 2008
Wharton School of Business, Certificate of Business & Public Policy, May 2008
Honors: Senior Editor, Journal of International Law
 President, International Law Organization
 Recipient, Waseda Scholarship to study Corporate Governance in Tokyo
 Recipient, Penn Law Global Justice Fellowship to study transition in El Salvador
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business, B.S.B.A., cum laude, June 2003
Double Major: Finance and International Business, Double Minor: Philosophy and Sociology
Honors: Recipient of 2003 Georgetown University’s Outstanding Student Leader Award
 Selected 2003 Student Graduation Speaker (Tropia Exercises)
 Recipient of 2003 Dean’s Citation for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Campus Community’
 Deans List Honors (all semesters)
 Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology Honor Society)
Oxford University, Trinity College, Summer 2002
 Study Abroad Program in Corporate Strategic Management
 Top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in DC, Washington Business Journal, (July 2017)
 Listed as one of the Most Influential Washingtonians Under 40, Washington Life Magazine (2010-
 Listed as 2018 Washington DC Style Setter, Washingtonian Magazine (September 2018)
 Elected as Chairman of the Board of DC Vote (January 2015)
 Appointed by Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser to serve on Mayoral Transition Team (November 2014)
 Appointed to CityCenterDC Residential Advisory Committee as Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s
Representative (August 2013)
 Elected to the Board of Directors of DC Vote, an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to
securing full voting representation in Congress for DC (June 2011)
 Appointed Commissioner of the DC Small and Local Business Commission by Mayor Adrian Fenty
(August 2010)
 Selected as one of DC’s Power 30 Under 30 by Apex (October 2010)
Executive Office of the Mayor - Office of Talent and Appointments
John A. Wilson Building | 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20004
Vinoda Basnayake
Vinoda Basnayake is one of Washington, DC’s top business
entrepreneurs, specializing in the nightlife, hospitality, and lifestyle
industries. In addition to his unparalleled business portfolio, the Ivy
League-educated lawyer also chairs the DC Government Relations
Practice at Nelson Mullins LLP, one of the city's most powerful
lobbying shops. Equipped with a powerhouse combination of
business and legal experience, Basnayake has become a sought-after
consultant for lifestyle brands across the country.
A native Washingtonian, he was recognized as one of the most
influential Washingtonians under 40 by Washington Life Magazine for several years in a row and
named one of Washington’s “Power 30 Under 30” in 2010. The DC tastemaker often receives
media recognition for his entrepreneurial ventures and high-profile clients. Mr. Basnayake
remains very active in Washington DC politics as well.
A Ward 2 resident, Mr. Basnayake graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough
School of Business with a Bachelor Degree in finance and international business and received his
Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania while completing a Certificate in Public Policy
from the Wharton School of Business.
Executive Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser
Office of the General Counsel to the Mayor
To: Tommy Wells, Steve Walker
From: Betsy Cavendish
Date: October 5, 2023
Subject: Legal sufficiency review of Resolutions nominating Bernard White II, Maggie
O’Neill, Ris Lacoste, and Vinoda Basnayake as members of the Commission on
Nightlife and Culture
This is to Certify that this office has reviewed the above-referenced resolutions and
found them to be legally unobjectionable. If you have any questions in this regard, please do not
hesitate to call Erika Satterlee, Deputy General Counsel, Executive Office of the Mayor, at 202-
724-1303, or me at 202-724-7681.
Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Cavendish
The John A. Wilson Building • 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW • Suite 300 • Washington, D.C. 20004 • Office (202) 724-7681