Bill Hughes has joined the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) as its SVP for government relations. Hughes, a 27-year veteran of Capitol Hill, will be the Arlington, Va.-based trade organization’s top federal lobbyist.
Before joining RILA, Hughes was chief of staff to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). In that capacity, he was Hutchison’s top advisor on all strategic and legislative matters. Prior to that, Hughes was senior manager for government relations for General Electric; the Republican staff director for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee from 2008 to 2009, and staff director for the Republican Policy Committee from 2007 to 2008.
From 1999 to 2006, Hughes worked for House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), becoming his policy director in 2001. In that role, Hughes was the primary liaison for the speaker to House and Senate leadership and the presidential administration on policy issues.
Earlier in his career, Hughes worked for the Senate Budget Committee and the House Committee Transportation and Infrastructure.
“The retail industry faces many public policy challenges and opportunities that it relies on RILA to address,” noted RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “As one of Capitol Hill’s most respected operatives, Bill’s unparalleled experience will further strengthen RILA’s highly effective lobbying team.”
“With more than a decade spent at the highest levels of government, Bill’s exceptional experience and talent will be a tremendous resource to RILA and its members,” added Katherine Lugar, the association’s EVP for public affairs.
Last week, RILA revealed the hiring of Christine Pollack as its VP of government, focusing on health care and other industry priorities.
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.