This position will serve on Darden's Government Relations team, reporting to the Senior Director. The Manager is responsible for managing a portfolio of public policy issues in multiple states and localities, serving as an ambassador for Darden and the restaurant industry and supporting internal clients to achieve business initiatives and objectives.
The Manager will work closely with the Senior Director to set goals and strategies. The Manager will play a lead role in the execution of agreed tactics to implement those strategies and goals, working in collaboration with all members of the team as well as external consultants, trade groups and internal and external business partners. The Manager must be able to prioritize multiple assignments, identify stakeholders, build relationships, manage effective engagement and represent Darden in a lobbying capacity.
The Manager will represent Darden externally and will interact with a variety of internal clients including elected officials and executive level management. Therefore, an ability to simplify and communicate complex political and government relations issues and corresponding actions is imperative. He/she must be highly motivated to learn a broad range of issues as well as to engage and influence diverse audiences.
The successful candidate must have strong organizational and communication skills. The Manager will be required to conduct research, draft materials, attend meetings, and provide regular updates on politics and policy. He/she must be able to manage and prioritize multiple assignments.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
-Manage a portfolio of government relations issues in multiple states and localities
-Support and advance Darden's growth and new development initiatives
-Develop and execute strategies to advance business objectives and advocate Darden's policy positions
-Engage with industry peers and represent Darden with elected and appointed officials, national and state business groups, trade association and political and policy groups
-Research and analyze public policy issues and build awareness around outcomes and trends
-Manage a team of outside consultants
-Provide regular verbal and written updates to internal clients and brand leaders
-Identify and engage with government officials, opinion leaders, community organizations and special interest groups
-Assist the Senior Director of Government Relations and team in the creation of strategies and budgets
REQUIRED TECHNICAL SKILLS:
-Strong written and verbal communication skills required
-5+ years progressive experience in government relations and state and local policy analysis or closely related work required
-Direct experience and personal knowledge of state level contribution and lobbying rules required
-Corporate, trade association, contract lobbying firm or interest group state government relations experience required
-Proven ability to maximize existing relationships with state and local officials required
-Bachelor's degree required (public/business administration, political science, public policy, communication or a closely related field)
OTHER KEY QUALIFICATIONS:
-Extraordinary ability to develop relationships with diverse individuals and audiences required
-Exemplary communication skills with both written and oral communications required
-Budget management experience require
-50-60 percent travel required
PREFFERED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
-Post-graduate degree preferred (MBA or related degree)
-Multiple state campaign and/or lobbying experience is a plus for this role
-Experience working in a state or local government legislative office preferred
-Experience in public communication including legislative testimony, internal newsletters, etc. preferred
-Experience in similar roles in multiple states preferred
-Working knowledge of state legislatives associations preferred