Government Affairs Director
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE)
The QTI Group has been exclusively retained by Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) to recruit for their new Government Affairs Director. The MGE Government Affairs Director is a critical role that is responsible for advancing and defending MGE policy positions and business objectives before legislative bodies and administrative agencies at various levels of government - local, state and federal. The position is the primary point of contact for MGE with high-ranking public-sector decision makers and members of their staff. The Government Affairs Director will work collaboratively across all MGE departments, including Regulatory, Legal, Environmental, Operations, Community Outreach, and Economic Development. This role reports directly to MGE’s Vice President and General Counsel and will meet regularly with the MGE leadership team to share legislative activity of potential impact to MGE and its customers.
The Government Affairs Director will be experienced in working with government representatives on both sides of the aisle, bringing a nonpartisan demeanor, an affinity for working independently, and exceptionally strong relationship building and communication skills. This person will uphold the highest level of integrity and ethics in keeping with MGE’s commitment to the community it serves.
The Government Affairs Director will work with political representatives at the local, state and federal level to address political agendas of particular impact to MGE’s customer base and to the organization, including those determining outcomes related to renewable energy, electrification, and energy efficiency, among other topics of interest. This role will manage the political giving strategy to support these initiatives, in partnership with industry coalitions.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Maintains relationships with the company’s federal representatives and keeps them apprised of MGE’s policy positions and strategic direction. Occasionally works with the MGE federal contract lobbying firm to prepare background information for use by members of Congress and develops workable policy options for issues of concern to MGE. Analyzes industry-wide issues as identified by industry associations to establish MGE perspective and possible advocacy.
- Establishes and maintains MGE’s relationships with the key state level decision makers who guide the development of Wisconsin energy policy.
- Coordinates MGE’s policy advocacy in Wisconsin state government and communicates messaging to all stakeholders.
- Interacts with elected and other local officials to ensure that proposed county and municipal policies that cross over into MGE business operations and interests accommodate or do not conflict with MGE goals and needs.
- Represents MGE in meetings and negotiations with other utility companies and coalitions; maintains working relationships with other energy policy stakeholders.
- Serves as the point of information for MGE officers for accurate and time-sensitive information about the legislative processes and political developments at the federal, state and local levels. Alerts appropriate MGE staff in different departments to proposals originating from legislative bodies and works with them to develop an expert and politically coordinated MGE response.
Required Skills, Attributes, and Experience
- Ten years of relevant experience with 7 years in a “leading influencer” role desired.
- Strong knowledge of the political process and functions in local, state and federal government; experience in or familiarity representing an organization at the state and local level in the utility industry, energy sector, or other regulated industry; experience running a political campaign desired, not required.
- Strong sense of integrity and commitment to the mission and vision of MGE.
- Exceptional, proven relationship building skills to work with diverse stakeholders in an environment of trust and collaboration.
- A lifelong learner with high intelligence and the capacity to become a subject matter expert in areas of focus.
- Strong analytical and diagnostic skills.
- Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral, with a strong sense of timing and prioritization, able to translate information for diverse stakeholders with political astuteness.
- Ability to function independently, yet collaboratively.
- A sense of humor; able to work effectively under pressure.
- Willing and able to spend time at the Capital, to attend political events in the evening, and to travel on occasion.
- Proven experience successfully leading the development, implementation, and execution of a strategic operational plan. Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Legal or related field required. Master’s Degree or equivalent education or experience desired.