Sue Hensley is senior vice president, public affairs and communications, for the National Restaurant Association. She oversees the NRA's efforts to promote the restaurant industry to elected officials, opinion leaders and the media. Her work includes outreach and communication spanning the spectrum of the restaurant and foodservice industry: from innovators in the kitchen and industry entrepreneurs to families dining out for the evening.
Hensley is responsible for communications outreach related to the NRA’s award-winning Kids LiveWell program, a consumer program that helps parents make the "healthful choice the easy choice" in tens of thousands of restaurants. She also helped create and launch the Association's Conserve sustainability platform.
Before joining the National Restaurant Association, Hensley was associate administrator of the Small Business Administration and chief spokesperson for the SBA.
Hensley worked in the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2001 to 2003, where she served as a deputy assistant secretary. She spent several years on Capitol Hill as a communications director in the Senate and a press secretary in the House of Representatives.
Her journalism and communications background began as a news producer for WCIA-TV in Champaign, Ill.; news director at WPGU-Radio in Champaign; and news anchor at WRMN/WJKL-Radio in Elgin, Ill.
A native of Palatine, Ill., Hensley is a graduate of the broadcast journalism program at the University of Illinois and is a Certified Association Executive. She was recognized in 2012 as one of PR Week’s “40 under 40” top PR professionals.