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Company: VMware
Position: Director, U.S. State, Local, and Education (SLED)/Canada Government Relations Lead
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Description: The Director, U.S. State, Local, and Education (SLED)/Canada Government Relations Lead will be responsible for developing and executing a government relations and advocacy strategy to advance VMware’s policy and growth goals across the US SLED and Canadian markets. This position will be responsible for managing a small team aimed at expanding VMware’s new and existing business opportunities, thought leadership, and influence in policy matters at the state and local level and in Canada. This will include identifying and influencing policies and appropriations that impact VMware’s existing and emerging products, VMware’s sales, IT implementation, and VMware’s overall reputation with U.S. state and local and Canadian governments.

The focus of this position is to identify and assess current and emerging opportunities that impact: IT procurement, hybrid and multi-cloud, cyber security, edge and IoT infrastructure and security, 5G implementation, and end-user computing issues.

You will work closely with the VMware sales, business development, and pursuit and capture teams to identify policy opportunities, align with sales strategy, and facilitate high-level meetings between VMware executives and key stakeholders including policymakers, governors, mayors, IT leaders, regulatory agencies, and industry associations to promote and advocate the company’s objectives. The Director lead will also hire, train, and manage outside consultants/lobbyists in select markets.

Strong understanding of corporate sales practices, state and local government, procurement, and budgeting is necessary. Relationships with key policy and decision makers are critical as state and local governments create oversight and set standards for their own data centers, for entities that do business with the 50 U.S. States, and guidelines for the private sector. The ability to engage at a high level on these issues is required.

The Director will report to the VP of Global Government Relations and Policy with title and salary being commensurate with experience.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Government Relations: educate policy makers about VMware and work with consultants to best position VMware in the marketplace. Build and maintain relationships with government leaders and influencers within target markets. Manage outside consultants
  • U.S. State Policy and Government Relations Strategy Development: in partnership with sales leaders develop and execute VMware Government Relations efforts in state, local, and education (SLED) markets. Manage legislative review process by conducting preliminary legislative analysis and engaging internal subject matter experts to assess the impact to VMware. Engage the executive team on various government relations efforts, keeping them up to date and involved.
  • Policy Advocacy: advocate on all levels of state and local government including state legislatures, Governors’ administrative offices, as well as select local government entities
  • Collaboration: collaborate with internal VMware government relations, sales teams, engineering and research and development teams and work with trade associations, VMware partners and other memberships and influencers on state and local strategy and policy. Participate with the Legal and Sales teams to break down business silos
  • Management: hire and manage a small team to work through regional issues. Manage relationships with consultants and trades associations to maximize VMware benefit
  • Innovation in Everything: willingness to try new and unconventional strategies to best impact policy while enabling VMware’s core business priorities

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Live and exemplify VMware’s values
  • Lead VMware’s government relations US state and local and Canadian governments, with special focus on enabling VMware core business, including state, local, and education public sector sales/procurement activities and Canadian local and federal opportunities
  • Develop and deliver policy language beneficial to the business and VMware goals and values
  • Create thought leadership opportunities for VMware and its executives
  • Enhance relationships to deliver high-impact meetings with policy leaders
  • Maintain a clear understanding of business objectives and priorities through active involvement with key management to assure appropriate linkage of business strategies and governmental issues
  • Consolidate government issues and matters into a comprehensive government outreach strategy and lead the execution of that strategy
  • Track, analyze and report out on bills and legislative trends in the US states that impact VMware’s existing and emerging businesses – including issues such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, Internet of Things and blockchain
  • Develop, coordinate and maintain relationships and contacts with government regulatory agencies, government departments, governmental leaders to enhance favorable governmental relationships and reputation for VMware
  • Set and accomplish aggressive government relations goals and establish positive relationships with business stakeholders
  • Manage a small team, outside consultants, and trade associations
  • Help enable VMware’s compliance with all relevant regulations and requirements
  • Identify key decision-makers and influencers with government and promote corporate positions with those audiences both in person and in writing
  • Produce targeted supporting materials such as correspondence, briefing notes, submissions and presentations in support of issues, proposed legislation, projects or to enhance VMware’s reputation
  • Coordinate meetings with government and elected officials
  • Aid in negotiation and coordination with key regional business partners
  • Make presentations to government officials, and coordinate host site tours for government officials
  • Monitor emerging public policy, legislative, regulatory and political issues that could impact the organization and work with appropriate internal and external stakeholders to proactively develop or recommend actions
  • Draft and coordinate the approval of correspondence, presentations and formal policy submissions to government officials (elected and non-elected)
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of a corporate government relations database containing all current and relevant issues and contacts
  • Successfully advocate for policy which enables our business, our employees, and our customers
  • Maintain the highest integrity and ethical standards
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned

Contact: Christine Kapaklis,


  • Minimum 10 years of relevant experience in corporate government relations and government service
  • Extensive, first-hand experience in a combination of roles including working inside state and local government (e.g. governor/mayor/legislature) and in corporate government relations, and/or business development
  • Experience in successful government engagement on both policy and procurement
  • Experience presenting complex issues and opportunities to high-level officials and third-party partners
  • Sound judgement, diplomacy, and the ability to liaise confidently, effectively and positively with internal and government stakeholders
  • Sense of urgency, agility, transparency, respect and collaboration in a team setting
  • Excellent communication skills – both written and oral
  • Ability to think and act both strategically and creatively
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and work under tight deadlines on multiple initiatives
  • Passionate about government service and the role of government in society
  • Self-starter and team player who can set aggressive and achievable goals
  • Ability to take complicated technical concepts and relate them to effective policy work
  • Flexibility for work-related travel up to 50%.
  • Relevant university degree required

This job opportunity is not eligible for employment-based immigration sponsorship by VMware.​

Please apply to this role by clicking:

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