The National Restaurant Association and Dunkin’ Brands Group jointly announced that Cicely Simpson will join the NRA as its new executive vice president of government affairs and policy, starting May 13, 2015.

For the last seven years, Simpson has served as vice president of government affairs, for Dunkin’ Brands Group. With more than 18,900 locations in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin' Brands Group is one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants.

In her new role with the National Restaurant Association, Simpson will be a member of the association’s executive leadership, reporting to president and CEO Dawn Sweeney. Based in Washington, D.C., she will lead a team of professionals who represent and advocate for restaurants nationwide, advancing and protecting the industry and building industry influence and impact.

Simpson will also lead the association’s communications and research teams, shaping effective messaging and providing valuable insights for government, industry, and the general public on behalf of the Association’s membership.

“Cicely’s experience in the foodservice industry and record of accomplishment with Dunkin’ Brands, in combination with her tenure in legislative staff leadership roles, is the ideal combination needed to advocate effectively on our members’ behalf as we move into the next stage of our association’s growth and evolution,” says Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO.

As Vice President of Government Affairs for Dunkin’ Brands Group, Simpson was responsible for development and execution of the federal, state, local, and international legislative and regulatory agendas for Dunkin’ Brands and its two largest brands: Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. She also managed external consultants and worked with franchisees across the country to achieve legislative goals.

“Thanks in great part to Cicely’s leadership, we have been able to accomplish a great deal in the government affairs arena for our franchisees, the industry, and the public,” says Nigel Travis, Dunkin’ Brands Group chairman and CEO. “We will miss Cicely but are confident that her efforts will continue to benefit Dunkin’ Brands as well as the broader membership of the National Restaurant Association.”

Before her position with Dunkin’ Brands Group, Simpson served as legislative director for U.S. Representative Jim Cooper where she was responsible for Oversight and Government Reform Committee work, district appropriations, judiciary, education, transportation, energy, agriculture, housing, and a host of other key issues.

Simpson earned her Juris Doctor with honors from the Pepperdine University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from David Lipscomb University.

Industry News, Legal