ARLINGTON, Va.—The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has named Louis Finkel to lead its advocacy programs.
Finkel will serve as senior vice president for government relations and a member of the association’s senior leadership team. He has demonstrated extensive federal and state advocacy leadership in executive positions with CVS Health Corp., American Petroleum Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
“Louis will provide leadership to integrate and strengthen our advocacy across America’s electric cooperatives,” said Jim Matheson, NRECA’s chief executive officer. “Our members have long-standing relationships with the elected officials that represent their communities. Louis’ experience working on federal issues as well as state-based campaigns is essential given that electric co-ops are involved with policy issues all the way from the national to the local level.”
NRECA represents more than 900 electric cooperatives nationwide, including developing advocacy strategy on federal legislative and regulatory issues related to energy, broadband, economic development and other issues.
“In the rapidly changing energy delivery marketplace, electric cooperatives are setting the standard for reliability and innovation,” said Finkel. “And at the same time, the world of advocacy keeps evolving, requiring new and creative ways to approach public policy debates. I look forward to working side by side with our members each day to help carry their message to policymakers at all levels of government.”
Finkel most recently served as vice president, national state government and public affairs at CVS Health Corp., where he directed the company’s state advocacy programs and public affairs initiatives.
He also served as executive vice president at the American Petroleum Institute, where he was responsible for leading the organization’s governmental affairs programs. He directed an integrated advocacy program comprised of governmental affairs, grassroots and multi-platform communications in Washington D.C. and 34 states.
Finkel was also executive vice president of government affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association for two years ending in 2014.
On Capitol Hill, he served as chief of staff for the House Science and Technology Committee as well as the committee’s director of policy and outreach. Earlier in his career, he also served as legislative director for Rep. Bart Gordon (Tenn).
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.