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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has named Michael R. Gruber to the position of VP of federal affairs. Reporting to Louis Finkel, GMA’s EVP for government affairs, Gruber will manage all federal policy issues and advocacy activities on behalf of the food, beverage and consumer products industry. He will assume his new role Oct. 1.
“His strong track record of building collaborative relationships on both sides of the aisle, ability to develop and execute winning legislative strategies, and expertise in food, agriculture and environmental policy make him the right fit for GMA,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based trade organization. “Our members will benefit greatly from his seasoned leadership and communications experience.”
Bringing nearly 20 years of policymaking, advocacy and campaign experience to his latest role, Gruber joins GMA from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he is senior policy adviser. In this capacity, his many duties include acting as primary budget and appropriations policy adviser to the full Committee and as liaison to the Congressional Budget Office and House Budget Committee to determine the cost of legislative proposals.
Previously, Gruber worked for Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) for more than eight years, first as chief of staff, and subsequently as appropriations associate. In this role, he was chief liaison to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and the Food and Drug Administration. His first government job was as a legislative assistant to Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.), later rising to the position of district director. Gruber’s Hill experience is complemented by private-sector work relating to public relations and federal affairs.
“Every day, millions of American consumers rely on GMA member companies to deliver safe, nutritious and affordable products, which make the policies that govern the food, beverage and consumer products industry critically important,” noted Gruber, adding that he would work with “association staff, members and policymakers to craft responsible policy solutions that will help industry serve consumers more effectively than ever before.”