Sr Dir Government & External Affairs US

17 May, 2021


Sr Dir Government & External Affairs US

McCain Foods
Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Position – Sr Director, Government and External Affairs – United States

McCain foods is looking for a Sr Director Government and External Affairs to develop and deliver our American public affairs strategy. Working out of our Oakbrook office, the successful candidate will report into our Vice President Global Government and External Affairs overseeing the development and implementation of stakeholder and government relations, advocacy and external communications strategies. As a member of the Global Government and External Affairs team, the candidate will provide leadership and direction for the business with regard to Company reputation, external communications, media, stakeholder and government relations. It will include the creation and implementation of campaigns to support and enable Company growth while protecting our Company brand and corporate reputation. The role will have a US scope in a player-coach role: providing direct leadership for the PR / GR agenda in the US and developing a consistent regional approach.

The successful candidate will implement a change agenda that elevates how McCain pursues government relations. The response to the COVID pandemic has highlighted several desired tenets for our approach:

  • Proactive: Identify external trends and opportunities to advance our corporate reputation and regulatory agenda. Monitor external environment (i.e., political, public opinion, business shifts) to identify and respond to emerging issues and changes in community and opinion leaders.
  • Consistent: Lead and coordinate with regional Senior Leadership team (and other functions) to ensure a common communications and public affairs agenda regionally and globally. Anticipate implications of actions / media on other regions.
  • Collaborative: Cultivate external partnerships (especially with growers groups) to advance a collective agenda, cultivating partners who can speak for the potato supply chain. Educate officials on business model (and economic benefits) in anticipation of future challenges. Maintain and manage network of 3rd party consultants, lobbyists to effectively convey the company’s message to legislative and other external audiences.
  • Value-based: Lead efforts to maintain, protect and enhance our company reputation and image. Leverage external communications, showcase company priorities (e.g., sustainability), and support leadership relationships to remove barriers to business and influence stakeholders.

Key Accountabilities – Driving GR / PR in the US specifically

  • Develop strategy at the federal, state and municipal level including clearly defined objectives, plans and programs in support of GR objectives and building corporate brand reputation
  • Organize internal crisis management framework and priorities
  • Provide oversight of external communications: community engagement, public affairs, brand and corporate reputation through PR, stakeholder engagement and crisis management
  • Enhance the reputation and equities of our brand by providing strategic counsel on communications strategies
  • Foster relationships with key government contacts to ensure McCain has full knowledge of government initiatives and programs
  • Lead and maintain relationships with other executives across multiple sectors to stay up-to-date on current events, politics and public policy issues across the region
  • Advocate on behalf of the organization, as well as representing the organization at external meetings with politicians and policy makers
  • Participate in various government meetings, consultations, roundtables and conferences
  • Draft government correspondence, pre-budget submissions, position papers and policy language
  • Enhance the reputation and equities of our brand by providing strategic counsel on communications strategies

Knowledge and Experience

  • 10 + years’ interacting with US Government and Regulatory Bodies; (with preference for specific time spent in politics / government)
  • 10 + years’ experience in corporate environment managing regulatory affairs
  • Extensive corporate strategy and crisis management experience
  • Experience cultivating industry stakeholder groups – industry, farmer, union
  • Corporate communications expertise with global communications experience preferred
  • Understanding of the US federal and state government legislative, regulatory and public policy process and the differences/similarities between them
  • Experience working in a matrix environment and driving results through influence



McCain Foods is an equal opportunity employer. We see value in ensuring we have a diverse, antiracist, inclusive, merit-based, and equitable workplace.  As a global family-owned company we are proud to reflect the diverse communities around the world in which we live and work. We recognize that diversity drives our creativity, resilience, and success and makes our business stronger.

McCain is an accessible employer. If you require an accommodation throughout the recruitment process (including alternate formats of materials or accessible meeting rooms), please let us know and we will work with you to meet your needs.

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Job posted: 2021-05-17