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Darden Restaurants seeks a Manager of Government Relations to join our Communications and Public Affairs team, based in Orlando, FL.

This role is responsible for building relationships at all levels of government to advance Darden’s business objectives. In addition, this role is responsible for monitoring key issues and engaging in activities that protect and promote Darden’s public policy interests.

A successful candidate thinks strategically, prioritizes diligently, and is comfortable to adjust rapidly to changing environments, issues, and schedules. This individual must be must be a team player, deeply skilled at building internal and external relationships and engaging champions at all levels of government across the U.S. Additionally, an ideal candidate for this role has strong political acumen, a background in multi-state and local government relations, strong communication and influencing skills, and the ability to simplify complex topics.

The Manager will partner with various teams within Darden, including Communications & Public Affairs, Legal, Real Estate, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and Finance, to analyze and set policy priorities. They will continuously maintain a robust external network of policy decision-makers and industry and trade associations. They will also manage a team of consultants and budgets; conduct research and write public policy analysis; and help plan and execute a variety of advocacy, campaign, and outreach strategies.


- Build relationships at all levels of government to advance Darden’s business objectives

- Plan and execute a variety of engagement, advocacy and outreach initiatives that protect and promote Darden’s public policy interests

- Conduct research and public policy analysis

- Partner with cross-functional teams to analyze and prioritize policy issues

- Maintain a robust external network of elected leaders, staff, decision-makers, and industry and trade group partners

- Advocate effectively for legislative and regulatory policy goals

- Manage consultants and budgets

- Prepare and present verbal and written updates, white papers, and analysis


- 5+ years of progressive experience in state/local government relations, legislative staff, campaigns, or a combination.

- Proficient in political contribution and lobbying compliance regulations and reporting processes

- Strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills are imperative


- BA/BS degree


- Detail-oriented, self-starter, and good team player

- Solution-oriented problem solver

- Strong networking and relationship-building skills


- Familiarity with industry preferred

- Corporate, trade association, contract lobbying firm, interest group, or multi-state government relations experience preferred


-Orlando, FL

-Extensive travel required (up to 60%)