The Chief Government Relations Officer oversees and leads the development and execution of Company’s public policy, legislative and advocacy strategies to increase food and funds available to food banks and to people facing hunger focusing on maximizing benefits and our neighbors’ ability to access those benefits. They also lead Company’s efforts to catalyze a movement to end hunger in America, position Company as a thought leader on issues related to hunger and promote civic engagement in the fight against hunger. The Chief Government Relations Officer effectively integrates strategies across these different areas of focus and coordinates the co-creation of strategies and plans working with other departments including marketing and communications, equity, programs, supply chain and development. The Chief Government Relations Officer provides counsel to the CEO on policy and legislative issues and serves as a member of the organization’s Executive Team.
Direct the development and implementation of effective government relations strategies to advance Company’s policy priorities through legislative and regulatory initiatives working with Congress, federal agencies and the White House. This includes strategies focused on protecting and improving SNAP and other federal nutrition programs, including implementation at the state level, and maintaining and/or increasing federal commodity purchases.
Direct the development and execution of strategy and goals for advocacy on public policy issues in support of strategic priorities, including leveraging subject matter expertise from within the Company Network and other external partners.
Work closely with the marketing and communications teams to direct the development, and coordinate the execution, of a strategy to catalyze a movement to end hunger through expansion of federal nutrition programs and charitable food banking while seeking opportunities to address the root causes of hunger.
Oversee the development and execution of programs and initiatives focused on civic engagement and ensure that people facing hunger are active partners in Company’s advocacy and policy work. This includes programs designed to support voter registration and other forms of civic engagement.
Direct the development of strategies and initiatives to promote expanded investment in SNAP and other benefits programs and to connect eligible neighbors with benefits, including the millions of people who currently qualify but do not access their benefits. Push for program changes at all levels to remove barriers that make it difficult for people to access food.
Direct the development and execution of initiatives and plans for advancing Company’s external thought leadership and influence agenda in support of the organization’s overall strategic priorities and outcomes. Position Company as a leader in the effort to re-frame the policy and public debate about SNAP and other benefits and nutrition programs.
Pursue opportunities to engage external stakeholders and policy influencers to extend Company’s reach and to advance its policy priorities by effectively positioning Company as a leading voice on hunger policy. Represent Company and its network at governmental and legislative forums, hearings, with the media and the press, at coalition meetings and in other forums. Serve as a lobbyist for Company.
Cultivate and maintain strategic relationships among key policy makers and government leaders and represent Company and its network to major stakeholders, including congressional and administration staff, national non-profit organizations and industry partners. Oversee the development and execution of conferences and events, including lobby days, to support advancement of key strategic priorities. Facilitate meetings with elected officials to advance our agenda.
Ensure that Company is has clear plans in place to maximize food resources available for food banks through federal, regional and state agencies including the Farm Bill and federal commodity purchases.
Guide the planning, implementation and evaluation of strategies to increase advocacy capacity and engagement across Company’s network of food banks. Build and maintain strong collaborative relationships with Company network members and serve as the senior FANO liaison with the Network’s Policy Engagement and Advocacy Committee (the PEAC).
Coach and develop the Government Relations Team, promoting a culture of high performance, accountability, continuous improvement and collaboration.
Represent fund development for Government Relations and actively collaborate with development team members on donor cultivation conversations, funding proposal development and impact/progress reporting on funded projects.
Mission Focused – Demonstrates a commitment to Company’s mission through word and action. Is committed to keep people facing hunger at the center of our work and strives to translate this commitment into action on a daily basis. Willing to advocate for people facing hunger and serve as an ambassador for Company inside and outside of work.
Embraces Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – Demonstrates a personal commitment to valuing different backgrounds and life experiences through word and action. Takes personal actions to build an inclusive culture that ensures everyone can fully contribute based on their unique talents, skills and perspectives and feels welcomed and valued. Commits to driving equitable solutions to address root cause issues by incorporating an equity framework in their daily work. Committed to continuous personal EDI development.
Required Leadership Competencies
Establishes Vision and Crafts Strategy: Develops organization vision, strategy and operating goals. Creates process and structure to build organization alignment and drive effective strategic execution. Build plans and goals to solve complex problems and address long term challenges/opportunities.
Leverages Functional Expertise: Leverages industry and functional expertise to shape strategic and operational decisions. Tracks significant developments and changes in areas of expertise identify opportunities and anticipate potential challenges and threats for Company as a whole.
Collaborates Internally & Externally: Builds organization process and structure to facilitate collaboration. Identifies key stakeholders and ensures collaboration occurs between departments, across the Network and with external partners through words and actions and by removing barriers when necessary. Collaborates and models positive engagement resolving issues and elevating conversations to focus on mission and what’s best for the people we serve.
Drives Change: Diagnoses challenges looking at political and systemic barriers to change. Leverages data-based observation, interpretation and intervention to engage stakeholders in shaping and implementing solutions. Mobilizes the organization through effective interventions orchestrating dialogue and productive conflict to drive movement through the change process.
Coaches & Develops Talent and Teams: Leverages talent management processes to strategically develop talent for the organization and establishes a transparent culture around talent decisions. Coaches and mentors talent with a focus on creating growth opportunities and providing regular, constructive, feedback to direct reports and others as appropriate. Demonstrates personal commitment to talent development through active involvement in all phases of the talent management cycle including recruiting, performance, development and compensation.
Fifteen plus years experience in government affairs, public policy or issues advocacy with an in-depth understanding of federal (and ideally state) policy, legislative and campaign environments.
Understanding of, and ideally experience with, advocacy campaigns from grass roots to grass tops.
Demonstrated track record of success in multiple, complex, senior level leadership roles within large organizations (not for profit, corporate, legislative or consulting).
Extensive experience representing organizations on complex policy and legislative issues to a broad range of external stakeholders including government and media. Ideally includes experience speaking, lobbying and with interviews.
Can demonstrate past success building and leading broad coalitions in support of campaigns focused on creating public awareness, engagement and action.
Strategic negotiator with a track record of achieving successful outcomes and building win-win coalitions.
Expertise in federal legislative and regulatory processes and Congressional Committee structures.
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