The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has welcomed Jennifer Safavian to the trade organization as EVP for government affairs. As RILA's top lobbyist, Safavian will oversee the association's federal and state advocacy, guiding an agenda including cybersecurity, e-fairness, tax reform and other key retail industry issues.
Safavian brings almost 20 years of experience on Capitol Hill to her new position. She joins RILA after four years in senior leadership positions on the House Ways and Means Committee, including serving for the past three years as the Committee's staff director. In that role, she managed a staff of 50-plus lawyers, analysts and subcommittee staff, overseeing the development of policy related to various high-profile issues, including tax, trade and health care.
Before joining the Ways and Means Committee, Safavian spent eight years as chief counsel for Oversight and Investigations for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In that role, Safavian headed the 20-attorney oversight and investigations team for the committee, with primary investigative authority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Earlier in her career, she served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and also practiced law in both the District of Columbia and Michigan.
"Jennifer's extensive experience in policy development, combined with her leadership skills, position her well to provide RILA members an exceptional level of expertise and strategic thinking," said Sandy Kennedy, president of Arlington, Va.-based RILA. "With a deep understanding of the issues critical to retail, Jennifer will be a strong advocate for the industry and a valuable addition to the RILA team."