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National Restaurant Association - Matt Walker

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Matt Walker Vice president, government affairs

Matt Walker is Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association (Association). In this capacity, he leads the Association’s advocacy strategy in the U.S. Senate and supports efforts directed at the U.S. House of Representatives and the Administration. The Association represents the nation’s second largest private sector employer, an industry that employs over 14 million people and has annual sales in excess of $709.2 billion.

Prior to joining the Association, Walker worked in Congress for 14 years, most recently as the longtime Deputy Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and senior aide to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

In addition to managing the Small Business Committee’s priorities, he supported Snowe’s legislative efforts on the Senate Finance and Senate Commerce Committees. His accomplishments include developing and spearheading legislative initiatives credited with helping the Small Business Administration support over $30 billion in small business loans, which was the highest level in the Agency’s history. During his tenure he was recognized by major national publications as among the top aides on Capitol Hill.

Walker is a retired veteran. Throughout his military career in the Army National Guard, he played critical roles in diverse units including engineer, infantry and joint forces headquarters. During his 2006-2007 deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Walker was selected to serve as U.S. Liaison to the South Korean and Polish forces and Project Manager of their construction operations. In that role, he managed more than 25 major construction projects in a combat theater without a single work stoppage or major safety incident. Walker is a veterans’ advocate who serves as a member of the American Legion’s Small Business Task Force.

Previously, Walker practiced law at Pierce Atwood, a leading New England firm, focusing on complex general and commercial litigation involving high profile cases. He also has worked for more than six years in various restaurants.

A Maine native, Walker earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an Interdisciplinary in Legal Studies from the University of Maine and a Juris Doctor from the Maine School of Law.

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