The Head of Government Relations, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) will work closely with and support the management in the CEMEA geographies to enable public policy in alignment with corporate objectives and regulatory requirements. The Executive also will be responsible for overseeing Visa’s interaction with national and sub-national government officials throughout the CEMEA region to ensure the following:
Visa’s profile and reputation are optimized through the delivery of coordinated communications and education targeted at key government officials and other policy makers both directly and through appropriate surrogates;
The expansion of the industry in general, and Visa in particular, is not hindered by intrusive political or regulatory intervention;
Visa is well positioned to take advantage of potential partnerships with national and sub-national government agencies in the delivery of social services, payment of taxes, expansion of travel and tourism, furtherance of financial inclusion, and other potential government programs that may benefit from the application of electronic payments; and,
Visa’s outreach and messaging throughout CEMEA is consistent with similar efforts in other regions around the world.
Develop and implement an overall government relations strategy in close coordination with the region’s Group Executive and other Visa regional business leaders to achieve agreed objectives.
Support Visa’s in-market GR leads located throughout the CEMEA region to establish proactive and constructive relationships with officials at key government agencies (e.g., Ministries of Finance, Ministries of Tourism, central banks, etc.) including education of these officials about the value of Visa thereby improving the company’s overall reputation.
Identify and develop Visa’s positions and lobbying strategies on priority legislative and policy issues in coordination with country management and in-market GR leads throughout the CEMEA region.
Serve as a member of Visa’s regional leadership team, providing both strategic advice and direct support on matters of legislative and regulatory interest, as well as informing senior management of emerging issues and new developments.
Coordinate public engagement and communications activities with regional, global, and local colleagues across multiple functions including corporate relations, marketing, legal, product, risk and others to ensure consistency and maximum effect.
Regularly communicate directly with lawmakers, government officials, regulators, and policy makers that may impact Visa’s business to enhance Visa’s reputation and competitive position.
Develop and deliver informative and engaging government engagement platforms about the value of Visa and the payments industry in general that are fully aligned with business priorities and global branding.
Provide educational opportunities to country management throughout the region to increase their comfort with government engagement.
Develop technical expertise on primary public policy matters so as to be a key expert resource to public officials, clients, and industry associations.
Develop strategic and policy decisions such as the fostering and leveraging of potential business partnerships with national and sub-national government agencies in the delivery of social services, payment of taxes, and other potential government programs that may benefit from the application of electronic payments, while taking into account cross functional impacts.
Support adequate and ongoing regional executive contact with key lawmakers and regulators.
Recommend and support appropriate contacts and communication channels between Visa’s global executive leadership and senior government officials throughout the region.
Ensure regional and global business subject matter experts conduct regular face-to-face technical issue briefings with relevant regulators and government officials.
Establish and maintain appropriate contact with counterparts at other industry participants including client banks.
Promote Visa’s reputation and profile by speaking at public events, legislative hearings, industry conferences, association committees and roundtables, etc.
Be acutely aware of potential global implications of local and regional issues and coordinate their management with GR colleagues globally.
Coordination with internal compliance and risk with respect to governance issues related to political participation and activity throughout the region. Work with cross divisional partners to assure compliance and processes are in place and followed by all internal stakeholders.
15+ years in relevant corporate position; regulatory or government agency; and/or consultancy serving equivalent clients
First degree minimum; advanced degree preferred
Active network of senior government contacts across the CEMEA region
Combination of political and business acumen; understanding of both corporate and political motivations
In-depth knowledge of the electronic payments, financial services and/or technology industries
Strategic advocacy and communications planning skills
Superior inter-personal, presentational and written communication skills
Confident and authoritative manner in all communication channels
Ability to act independently but also within a team environment
Demonstrated management experience in policy arena with substantial responsibilities
Ability to grasp complex issues; proven manager of public policy process in a complex environment
Effective at creating consensus around strategic initiatives utilizing a collaborative, inclusive, and engaging decision-making process
Leads by example and is able to generate respect and loyalty from peers, superiors, and subordinates
Impeccable ethics and high-level of integrity