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National Restaurant Association - Cicely Simpson

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Cicely Simpson Executive vice president, policy & government affairs

As the National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president of government affairs and policy, Cicely Simpson leads a team of professionals who advocate for and represent restaurants nationwide. Her team is charged with advancing and protecting the industry and building industry influence and impact.

Simpson also leads the association’s communications and research teams, shaping effective messaging and providing valuable insights for government, industry and the general public on behalf of the association’s membership. 

Before coming to the association, Simpson was vice president of government affairs for seven years for Dunkin’ Brands Group. With more than 18,900 locations in nearly 60 countries, Dunkin' Brands is one of the leading franchisors of quickservice restaurants. 

Simpson was responsible for federal, state, local and international legislative and regulatory agendas for Dunkin’ Brands and its two iconic chains: Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. She also managed the company’s political strategy and worked with franchisees throughout the country to achieve legislative goals.

Before that, Simpson was legislative director for Rep. Jim Cooper and was responsible for managing the congressman’s Washington office as well as establishing his legislative agenda. Other previous roles include federal affairs manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority, legislative director for Rep. Lincoln Davis, and attorney with the Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop Law Firm.

Simpson earned a law degree with honors from the Pepperdine University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in political science from David Lipscomb University.


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