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National Restaurant Association - Cicely Simpson

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Cicely Simpson Executive Vice President, Public Affairs

Cicely Simpson is the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association. Leveraging more than 14 years of leadership experience in legislative affairs and public policy, Ms. Simpson leads the Association’s advocacy and political strategy at all levels government: federal, state, and local. 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 $799 billion.

Cicely was named as one of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists in 2015 and 2016. Also in 2016, Cicely was one of three lobbyists who received the Trends 2016: Leading Association Lobbyists award.  Earlier this year, she was named to the Nation’s Restaurant News Top 10 Power List.

Prior to joining the Association, Ms. Simpson served as Vice President of Government Affairs at Dunkin’ Brands Inc., the franchisor and corporate parent of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants. During her tenure at Dunkin’ Brands, she led the company’s legislative, regulatory, and political strategy with federal, state, local, and international governments. Prior to her service at Dunkin’ Brands, she served as the Legislative Director for the Honorable Jim Cooper, U.S. House of Representatives (D–TN). In this capacity, she managed the daily operations of the Washington office and established the Congressman’s legislative agenda. During her tenure in Representative Cooper’s office, Ms. Simpson also served as the Blue Dog Coalition Policy Director, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats.

She began her career at the law firm of Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop in Nashville before moving on to Capitol Hill as Legislative Director for the Honorable Lincoln Davis, U.S. House of Representatives (D-TN). Ms. Simpson later served as a Federal Affairs Manager in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Washington office before returning to Capitol Hill to work for Representative Cooper.

Ms. Simpson received a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University’s School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Lipscomb University in Nashville.


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