Director of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs Job Opening

*Serious Inquiries Only*


The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a 141-year-old non-profit organization that unites, promotes, protects and elevates the Commonwealth’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry, is accepting applications for a Director of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs.

Founded in 1880, the KDA is the voice for Bourbon and spirits issues.

Its diverse and growing membership of 48 distilleries produce the overwhelming majority of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are crafting the next generation of America’s only native spirit.

This critical position will support the KDA, its Board of Directors and member companies in developing, leading and coordinating the industry’s public affairs strategies and initiatives at all levels of government. This position is based in Frankfort, the Capital city of Kentucky.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

– Develop comprehensive strategies and detailed action plans to secure legislation and regulations that meet the Association’s priorities and to oppose measures deemed harmful to Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

– Lead and coordinate the KDA’s legislative and regulatory activity at all levels of government, including the Kentucky General Assembly, the Kentucky Governor’s Office and associated Cabinets, the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), Congress and associated federal agencies, and various communities throughout the Commonwealth.

– Work with KDA resources to draft bill and regulatory language; secure sponsors and cosponsors for legislation; prepare and coordinate legislative testimony, fact sheets and other educational and collateral materials.

– Develop detailed talking points and white papers on KDA issues and initiatives; organize and compose regular industry newsletters and proactive communications to elected officials and opinion leaders.

– Write timely, regular reports to KDA members to educate them on governmental affairs activities and issues of interest.

– Organize grassroots and grasstops advocacy campaigns, including web-based advocacy efforts.

– Maintain databases of governmental officials and opinion leaders.

– Update the KDA website with legislative priorities, calls to action, governmental affairs issues and achievements, and any necessary social media to educate or activate the public or opinion leaders.

– Coordinate annual lobby days, legislative receptions and industry meetings with elected officials.

– Work with KDA’s contract lobbying team in consultation with KDA President in coordinating legislative affairs; coordinate contract lobbying efforts among KDA member distilleries.

– Build and strengthen relationships with elected officials, regulatory policymakers, key staff and opinion leaders on the local, state and federal levels, through regular contact and consistent communication.

– Collaborate with other non-profit organizations and trade groups, agencies, trade unions, vendors, partners and industries to promote KDA governmental affairs policies and priorities.

– Serve on policy groups for a variety of organizations to promote KDA governmental affairs policies and priorities and represent the KDA at a variety of events, including speaking engagements, as needed.

– The ideal candidate is a self-starter, experienced in handling a wide range of duties with little or no supervision. This person must be exceedingly well-organized with the ability to change gears quickly and manage multiple priorities simultaneously.

– This is a time-intensive job that requires strategic planning skills, above-average writing and communications abilities, and a tireless work ethic to efficiently and effectively lead the KDA’s governmental affairs activities into the future.

– This position also requires excellent judgment and discretion with confidential and sensitive information and a high level of professionalism. The candidate will adhere to fiduciary responsibilities and other budgetary matters, and will ensure that the Association obeys with all ethical, legal and lobbying requirements.

Must Have:

– A four-year college degree with understanding of government.

– Experience in governmental or public affairs, legislative advocacy or similar position.

– Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills and outstanding relationship building skills.

– Strong ability to collaborate across a diverse organization and drive a shared agenda that recognizes and supports different levels of needs.

– Willingness to learn and seek out new partnerships and resources.

– Ability to multi-task and manage a wide range of duties with little or no supervision.

– Exceptional organizational skills with specific attention to detail.

– Ability to influence positive change as both a leader, negotiator and doer with a high level of professionalism.

– Ability to follow through on issues in a timely manner and work effectively under tight deadlines.

– Positive attitude, high energy, self-motivated, and passion for Kentucky Bourbon.

– Strong computer skills, including experience in Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher).

Strongly Prefer:

– Experience in Kentucky governmental and/or regulatory affairs.

– Degree and/or graduate studies in political science, public policy or law.

– Advocacy experience in federal affairs, including the Kentucky Congressional delegation.

– Experience and knowledge of Kentucky Bourbon, legislative issues, policies and priorities, and KDA member distilleries.
Federal trade experience and ability to navigate free trade agreements and new markets.

– Clear understanding of strategies, principles and methods behind legislative advocacy, alliance development, research, budgetary matters and tourism.

– Exceptional project management and organizational skills.

– Some evening and weekend responsibilities required, particularly during legislative sessions and KDA hosted events, including some travel.

Salary and Benefits:

– Salary commensurate with experience

– Benefits include medical, dental, vision and life insurance

– Monthly auto allowance

– Annual merit bonus opportunity

– Retirement plan, including employee contribution and employer match

– Holiday and vacation pay, commensurate with experience
Headquarters in Frankfort

More information:

Send a formal cover letter, detailed resume, references and salary expectations to with “KDA Governmental Affairs Search” in the subject line.

Applications that are submitted to other e-mail addresses, or that do not contain “KDA Governmental Affairs Search” in the subject line, will not be accepted.

Hard copies may be submitted to KDA Governmental Affairs Search, 100 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Nothing in this posting or description should be construed as an offer or guarantee of employment.
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