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Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses and their accounting and bookkeeping advisors grow and thrive.
At Xero, our purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world. This purpose sits at the centre of everything we do. We support our people to do the best work of their lives so that they can help small businesses succeed through better tools, information and connections. Because when they succeed they make a difference, and when millions of small businesses are making a difference, the world is a more beautiful place.
How you’ll make an impact
If you’re on board with our purpose, you’re a well established leader in business-to-government and government-to-business engagement and you’re looking to join a true digital economy pathbreaker, you’ll make a major impact in this role by driving and implementing an overall government engagement strategy for US. This will include the Presidential Administration, the wider US Federal Government, and where relevant some US state governments.
You will embed this engagement plan within the wider strategy of Xero by working closely with the Xero Country Manager for the US and other Xero leaders in the country, including the Operations, Legal and Communications leaders, among other US regional leaders and team members. The position will sit on the Xero US Leadership Team. Additionally you will work closely with a wide range of senior government stakeholders. You will make an impact by being the leading evangelist for beautiful public policy for small business.
In addition to the geographical leadership role heading our US government engagement, depending upon the skill set of the successful candidate there's also the potential to take on the global level leadership of a key strategic public policy area of interest to Xero and our community, as a Global Policy Lead. The policy landscape across which we’re seeking leaders includes global data policy, platform-related policies, technology and innovation policy, small business-related policy and broader economic policy. Whilst this is not an essential component for a successful application and the US engagement program is the primary focus of this role, the identification of experience and/or expertise in one of these areas will be a plus and would further enhance your pathway to impact at Xero.
What you’ll do
● Always first, second and third, you’ll be a kind, empathetic human being who cares about others. Then….
● You’ll have 10+ years experience as a clear leader in government and/or government engagement of some form in the US, preferably but not essentially, including in areas with a degree of topical alignment to Xero’s strategic public policy concerns.
Building on both of the above, you’ll be the evangelist champion of beautiful small business public policy.
● You will drive this central passion into strategy - you will develop and lead the implementation of an US government engagement strategy and a state-level strategy where relevant. You will do this in close collaboration with the Xeri US Country Manager and the wider US Leadership Team, as well as the global EGM of Government Experience (GX) and the full GX team, building off the work already set in motion by many dedicated and passionate Xeros.
● You will coordinate ongoing relations with all parts of the US government for Xero and along with our regional business leader be our lead advocate to government - many parts of the company engage with many parts of government and GX will increasingly coordinate this work to ensure consistency of content and purpose. Working with the Xero US Country Manager, you will have direct responsibility for engagement with the executive and political/elected level in Washington DC and the departments, agencies and other bodies that directly advise them. Beyond that you will play a coordinative, facilitative and/or advisory role with other engagements, such as those undertaken by the Legal Regulatory or Product Compliance teams.
● You will drive a shared value narrative consistently through all forms of our engagement - working in partnership with our Communications colleagues, together you will drive a clear narrative to government stakeholders that carries our commitment to shared value outcomes and the beautiful public policy for small business approach.
● You will be a recognised diplomat - in addition to that essential human kindness, you will naturally embrace the other core values of being a Xero and become an exemplar leader of the Xero Way. You will deploy these skills and characteristics to diplomatically lead a highly empathetic and continuous internal and external facing engagement effort.
● You will be or become a public policy leader - whether through the day-to-day full suite of public policy concerns in the US or through additionally leading a Global Policy portfolio, you will rapidly develop an expertise in key relevant public policy areas. This work runs across a full spectrum and includes policy identification, monitoring and intelligence, working with industry bodies and other external organizations on ideal policy frameworks, deploying campaigns to help shape policy proposals and making a significant contribution to the development of global public policy positions at Xero. Our colleagues in Legal are often our key partners in this work.
● You’ll excel at bringing people together - alignment is critical for success in this role. As such, in coordination with global approaches, you will drive an alignment-always approach to your agenda including regularly convening all parts of the US Xero business that deal with governments and providing regular executive briefings to the country Leadership Team, to ensure they are fully supported, informed and aligned. The role will formally report to the EGM, Government Relations and have a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Xero US Country Manager to reflect the importance of our local delivery model and your day-to-day relationship with our most senior business leader in the region.
● You’ll always have the radar on and tuned to today, tomorrow and well over-the-horizon - using your established network along with wider data sources and technology you’ll identify, closely monitor and communicate timely updates to other relevant Xero’s of any public policy opportunities and threats in US that are occurring right now (this month), that are coming soon (this year), in the near future (1-2 years) and likely over-the-horizon (2+ years), and ensure the GX strategy is calibrated accordingly to include opportunity enhancements or risk mitigations, as relevant.
● You will be an agent of demystification - each and every day you will work to demystify the workings of government for your colleagues and help governments better appreciate the Xero world and its power to support beautiful public policy. This will include, among other things, supporting wider corporate knowledge levels about government amongst Xeros in US, and beyond.
● You will leave nothing on the bench when we engage - working closely with the GM of Global Advocacy Campaigns and Stakeholder Relations you will maximise global resource deployment to support US public policy objectives. In detail, you will:
○ coordinate external government-advocacy campaigns and key initiatives in the US in line with Xero’s global policy positions and business objectives.
○ Identify, categorise and empathise with a full spectrum of stakeholders, ensuring Xero’s strong industry and cross-industry relationships.
○ Share local/regional campaign experience to contribute to the development and continued validity of global public policy positions.
○ Advance Xero’s positions (where appropriate) through industry associations and pragmatic coalitions to enable regulatory environments supportive of small business and technology companies.
● You will drive data and technology into our engagement and measure our impact - we are building government relations for the digital world, and whether its big data or simply joining the dots on learnings from meetings with different parts of government, the Xero GX team is seeking to drive responsible technology deep into our operations and to closely measure our impact, you will lead this effort in the US.
● You will be an ethics and diversity-centric trailblazer - Xero overall and the GX and Legal teams specifically place critical importance of being best-in-class in relation to ethical considerations around engaging with government. We also elevate the building of a diverse and inclusive team and culture to the centre of our thinking. You will make a major contribution to both of these concerns by being an innovator and mindset leader in both areas.
What you’ll bring with you
● 10+ years in government, government relations or a mix of the two.
● Extensive direct experience working in and/or with the executive and political/elected level of government with some or all of that working in the US Executive, Congressional and/or other relevant parts of the US Government, including senior roles in relevant US regulators, such as the CFPB.
● A deep and direct familiarity with the key relevant regulatory agencies in the US impacting small business, the economy, technology, accounting and bookkeeping and financial services.
● Ideally a degree in a relevant field, such as Politics, Law, Public Policy, Government/Public Administration. Degrees in Business and Commerce are also of value.
In relation to Global Policy Lead
● Desirable: Clear expertise and multi-year thought leadership-level contribution to a defined policy area of concern to Xero, in this case open banking, such as through the management of a political portfolio in that policy area (if a staffer), having worked in a GX role in a company also concerned with that policy (if a GX professional) or at a research level (if an academic or think tank leader).
● An intuitive understanding of government, including how and why it makes decisions and assesses the views of stakeholders
● Strategic delivery and commercial acumen
● Very strong interpersonal diplomatic skills
● A high ability to operate in highly uncertain environments
● A problem-solving mentality
● Ability to take a practical, proactive and creative approach to managing/solving government engagement issues
● A mindset for change and new ways of working
● Excellent written and verbal communication skills
● The ability to develop relationships with key stakeholders in the US
● The ability to influence others
● The ability to manage projects and people
● The ability to operate seamlessly between the hybrid virtual and non-virtual world of 2021 and beyond
Diversity of people brings diversity of thought, and we like that. A collaborative and inclusive environment is important to us. Working at Xero will provide you with a diverse and inclusive environment alongside people who will respect, challenge and support you to have fun while you do the best work of your life. We are a place where personal development, innovation, and well-being are not just inspired but celebrated.
We value our people and offer a wide range of compelling benefits and perks, including Xero shares. Xero’s collaborative culture is underscored by our values - #Ownership, #Challenge, #Beautiful, #Human and #Team - which empower us to understand and serve customers, attract top talent and continuously innovate. From the moment you step through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.