The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced today that Jennifer Safavian has joined the association as Executive Vice President for Government Affairs. As RILA's top lobbyist, Safavian will oversee RILA's federal and state advocacy, guiding an agenda that includes cybersecurity, e-Fairness, tax reform and other critical issues facing the retail industry.
Safavian brings nearly 20 years of experience on Capitol Hill to her new role. 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 more than 50 lawyers, analysts and subcommittee staff, and oversaw the development of policy related to a range of high profile issues, including tax, trade and health care.
Safavian has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the "Top 10 Lawyers on Capitol Hill" and as one of Roll Call's "Fabulous 50" Top Congressional Staff Members.
Prior to 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 this position, Safavian led a team of 20 attorneys that made up the oversight and investigations team for the Committee with primary investigative authority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Earlier in her career, Safavian served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She also practiced law in both the District of Columbia and Michigan. Safavian earned a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from St. Louis University and a law degree from Michigan State University. She is admitted to practice law in Michigan, Missouri and the District of Columbia.
"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 RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "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."
Safavian officially joined RILA today, January 5.
RILA is an outspoken advocate for the most critical issues facing the retail industry. RILA remains at the forefront of a number of battles, including leveling the playing field for all retailers as it relates to the collection of state sales tax. RILA also plays a leading role on issues including cybersecurity, comprehensive tax reform, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, privacy, trade and a variety of labor and finance issues.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.