An organization's vice president of government affairs interacts with government entities and officials while advocating for his company's best interests. He is also responsible for keeping the company abreast of any legislation that may impact the organization so company leaders can adjust their business strategy as necessary.
Responsibilities of the Position
A vice president of government affairs carries a heavy burden of responsibility, regardless of the industry in which his employer is based. All VPs of government affairs must interact with government officials and agencies and advocate for the needs of their organization. A VP of government affairs at a university, for instance, may focus on legislation that directly impacts not only her specific university but higher education as a whole. Meanwhile, a VP of government affairs for a casino organization seeking to expand into a specific area may advocate for regulations that allow his company to operate in the new market.
Necessary Education Credentials
Becoming a vice president of government affairs in any organization requires a rigorous educational background. A bachelor's degree is a standard requirement, often in communications or political science, though a master's degree in public policy is helpful in understanding how public policy and business intersect.
What Experience is Needed
Both for-profit and charitable organizations require their VPs of government affairs to have extensive communications or public policy experience, as well as an appreciation for the legislative process. Having a decade or more experience working in government affairs may be required. This can include working at the state or federal level. A potential VP of government affairs should have experience leading and developing a team of managers, specialists, and other professionals to assist him in his complex work on behalf of his organization.
Vice presidents of government affairs often earn significant compensation for the work and value they add to their organization. According to the Economic Research Institute, VPs of government relations can earn nearly $240,000 annually. However, the specific salary will vary based on employer, with for-profit businesses often paying higher than nonprofit organizations.
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