The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in Washington, D.C. is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. For one-hundred-and-twelve years, AAPA has been the voice of — and meeting place for — the seaport and shipping industry on public policy, technical excellence, and workforce development.
It is an historic and exciting time to work on U.S. policy for ports’ key role in the maritime supply chain. Ports are the hubs for moving goods, moving people, and moving to an era of supply chain digitalization and decarbonization. With billions of dollars appropriated by Congress for port infrastructure through landmark legislation, there has never been a better time to make a difference advocating for ports.
For its U.S. port members, AAPA provides Federal advocacy and public mobilization to make a difference in public policy areas that matter most to ports. AAPA strives to promote the common interests of the port community and provides critical industry leadership on transportation, infrastructure, freight, supply chain, labor & workforce, international trade, safety, security, environment, and more.
The Vice President of Government Relations will manage the five-plus person Government Relations department of the association and will plan and execute strategies and priorities in the Federal policy realm on behalf of ports.
The position will report to the CEO.
Some Federal agencies/entities that this position regularly lobbies include Congressional committees for appropriations, transportation, commerce, environment, and taxing; Maritime Administration (MARAD), Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), National Economic Council (NEC), and more. This position addresses agency policy and legislation, both authorizations and appropriations.
This person will be expected to maintain the association’s era of articulating and executing on policies that improve the funding for, and generally regulatory health of, seaports. This person must also establish and grow relationships with leaders of Congressional committees and Congressional offices, Executive Branch agencies, and other aligned organizations such as companies and trade associations in the trade, transport, and security spaces.
Applicants preferred who have an active legal license and can execute/manage day-to-day legal matters affecting the association.
Serve as a strategist and advocate for policy priorities of U.S. seaports by managing a five-plus person policy team with respective areas of expertise in port policy topics;
Proactively propose, socialize, build consensus for, and then execute on favorable policies in tax, trade, transport, infrastructure, security, safety, energy, and environment;
Address policy issues with a variety of Federal agencies;
Collect, compile, and summarize data and reports in support of policy and legislative solutions;
Survey port members, prepare issue summaries, and develop Association positions and action plans;
Plan and execute meetings of the association’s Legislative Policy Council (LPC), which is the final stop in an internal Association process for establishing industry consensus on policy issues;
Plan and execute an annual industry Legislative Summit in Washington, DC;
Plan and execute meetings of the Supply Chain Council, comprised of non-port companies in maritime which lend their views and political support to issues that benefit seaports.
Prepare briefing papers, infographics, position papers, and draft legislation in support of port issue resolution for agencies and Congressional committees and staff;
Advocate with key Congressional committees on authorization and appropriation legislation;
Develop and present briefings on complex technical issues for a variety of audiences, including the general public;
Plan and facilitate industry meetings and seminars on public policy and port operations;
Generate advocacy social media content, including for Twitter and for Association-hosted apps and micro-blogs;
Improve America’s safe and efficient maritime freight and passenger movement.
A bachelor’s degree is required; a law degree and active license is preferred.
5-10 years of experience working in a Federal Agency, Congressional office, maritime transportation related association, maritime consulting or engineering firm, political advocacy organization, or other similar context, with a preference for infrastructure advocacy experience;
Must be able to cogently explain complex public policy issues to a diverse audience;
Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of constituents, including high-level policy officials, leadership of member organizations, contractors, employees, and other parties;
Attention to detail and exceptional organizational skills;
A good understanding of policy-based media and communications channels;
Ability to work as an individual or part of a team based on the needs of each event, program, or project;
Knowledge and understanding of Congress, the White House, and Federal agencies desired;
Must be available to work occasional evenings and to travel occasionally.
3-5 days per week in-person at AAPA’s office – nine blocks from Capitol Hill – with the flexibility for virtual work.
10-20 days per year of travel in the U.S. and occasionally internationally for presentations, networking, and business development.
How to Apply
Please send a resume and cover letter to Cary Davis at email@example.com. (For LinkedIn applicants, please apply through LinkedIn portal.)
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. For one-hundred-and-twelve years, AAPA has been the voice of — and meeting place for — the seaport and shipping industry on public policy, technical excellence, and workforce development.