National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney announced that Scott DeFife was named executive vice president of Policy & Government Affairs for the association, spearheading its federal and state legislative and lobbying efforts effective January 11, 2010. DeFife comes to the association from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, where he led government affairs.
DeFife assumes a key leadership role for an association representing the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, an industry with close to 13 million jobs, nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice locations, and annual sales of more than $500 billion. In his new position, DeFife will oversee government affairs, public policy, and advocacy communications for the 90-year-old organization.
“We’re very excited to have Scott at the helm of our government affairs efforts,” Sweeney says. “His advocacy experience in complex policy and legislation, superlative bipartisan credentials, and substantive approach will be of great benefit to the National Restaurant Association, our members, and the restaurant industry. His unique blend of federal and state government affairs experience in politics and trade associations will enhance our government affairs efforts in key areas.”
For the past two years, DeFife was recognized as one of the “best lobbyists in the business for America’s business trade associations” by Capitol Hill’s newspaper, The Hill. At SIFMA, he led a 15-person government affairs team.
“Scott’s strong record of leadership will be a major component of our future success, and we are thrilled to have his experience as part of our senior management team as we strengthen our advocacy efforts on behalf of this great industry,” says the NRA’s chairman, Michael Gibbons, president and CEO of Mainstreet Ventures Inc.
DeFife previously served as senior policy advisor to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). He held senior legislative positions in the offices of Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), Rep. Karen McCarthy (D-MO), and Rep. Michael Andrews (D-TX). He also represented the American Public Power Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Earlier in life, DeFife worked in the restaurant industry, serving in a variety of front-line roles as he pursued his education. He received his B.S. in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.