American Water Director Government Affairs in Lexington, Kentucky
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Camden, NJ, the company employs over 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states. To learn more about American Water and additional career opportunities, visit www.amwater.com.
The primary role of this position is to provide strategic government affairs counsel to the state president and the state senior management team. This role manages a comprehensive and effective state and local government affairs program to advance and support the company’s overall business plan and state specific objectives. This role also tracks all legislation with the potential to impact the company, either positively or negatively, and provides strategic recommendations and tactical execution of government affairs to drive results in support of legislative objectives. This role is the senior government relations professional responsible for establishing, nurturing and maintaining relationships with elected and appointed individuals at the state, county and municipal levels of government. It ensures the state president and state leadership team are properly and effectively positioned with key elected/appointed individuals, and that the company is effectively positioned as a trusted and expert resource. The Sr. Manager Government Affairs reports directly to the state president and interacts with corporate external affairs, business development and government affairs staff. This role interfaces and aligns government relations activities at the state level with strategies and initiatives at the corporate and national level to ensure the company is advancing an integrated and effective government relations strategy across the business. The Sr. Manager Government Affairs also supports business development activities and provides insight into potential development leads and opportunities. Assist with identifying, advancing, and closing business development opportunities for acquisitions. The position interacts with regulators and regulatory staff to build relationships and discuss or provide insight on issues or opportunities impacting the company or industry.
Lead and direct the effective development, implementation and assessment of an integrated government affairs program at the state and local level to enhance the company's reputation and position American Water as the trusted expert and industry leader relative to water and wastewater issues. Works closely with colleagues in other states and the corporate government affairs, external affairs and business development teams to identify and share best practices.
Build and sustain key internal and external relationships:
o Establish regular proactive communication outreach strategies and tactics in the state and local political arena to ensure political relationships are solidified and American Water is favorably viewed.
o Proactively meet with regulatory staff, state and local government officials on a regular basis to create strong relationships, mitigate emerging or potential problems, and establish a level of trust between American Water, mayors and other appointed and elected officials.
o Ensure government officials are kept updated on regulatory filings or about operational issues such as main breaks or other water-related emergencies.
o Works closely with an array of political, utility, industry and business-related organizations to create strategic alliances.
o Helps to develop communications strategies and approaches in conjunction with internal and external communications staff and state external affairs team.
o Schedule meetings or plan special events to inform, educate and discuss company initiatives, ensuring that appropriate company personnel is available to meet elected/appointed officials and answer specialized questions.
o Represent the company at political, municipal, regulatory or industry events, ensuring that booths are properly staffed with appropriate personnel.
- Implement and direct legislative and lobbying activities on behalf of the company:
o Serve as the lead state lobbyist for the company charged with influencing or shaping key legislation on water, wastewater or utility/business issues that may have an adverse or positive affect on the company.
o Manage local contract lobbyist(s) to maximize effectiveness
o Hold regular meetings with the contract lobbyist(s) to ensure they are accountable to expectations.
o Establish and maintain an effective bill tracking program.
o Provide oversight and strategic input on bills being tracked to determine impact and alignment with operations, strategy and objectives.
o Identify and seek opportunities for the company to lead or partner legislation on industry-related issues.
o Build effective alliances and coalitions to advance the company’s position on key legislative initiatives.
o Prepare and manage the development of legislative testimony and testify on behalf of the company.
- Direct state PAC activities to derive maximum benefit from PACrelated expenditures:
o Oversee fundraising efforts and events.
o Ensure all Election Law Enforcement rules, regulations and other reporting requirements are met.
o Identify PAC-related opportunities and issue-oriented coalitions on key issues affecting the company.
- Help identify business development opportunities through networking or input from the company's contract lobbyist or other lead generation activities and support business development activities
Must be knowledgeable of the federal, local and state government and legislative processes at all levels, and understand the hierarchy of government officials so the company has access to the right people, at the right time, in the right departments, for the right purpose.
Has a thorough understanding of PAC laws, Election Law Enforcement Laws (ELEC) for the state, where applicable, and a knowledge of the various reporting requirements.
Demonstrated ability to testify before legislative audiences and knows when and how to bring senior management and other departments into the process so that political officials have the benefit of the full expertise of the company.
Must know how to access information and gain knowledge of issues in the business and political arena, that may impact the company.
Must be a registered lobbyist.
Demonstrated ability to manage budget resources efficiently in order to maximize benefits to company.
Able to build relationships, influence and coach people to develop potential and build capabilities
Bachelor’s degree in public administration, government, journalism, communications, public relations or related field preferred, or demonstrated experienced commensurate with the requirements of the position.
Seven to ten years of experience in government relations or lobbying, preferably within the utility sector.
Up to 50% within the state and periodic travel throughout the United States
Licenses & Certifications
State issued driver’s license and clear driving record
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American Water is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and prohibits employment discrimination for employees and applicants* based on his or her age, race, color, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, or because he or she is an individual with a disability, protected veteran or other status protected by federal, state, and local laws.