GRIC’s Professional Development Committee is proud to present “Profiling Excellence”, an exciting new interview series that seeks to showcase the deep talent within the government relations community and share best practices amongst practitioners. In this profile, Elaine Larsen Wells connects with Genevieve Young of Global Public Affairs.
President & Chief Operating Officer | Global Public Affairs
“It is important to continue to learn, hear from diverse perspectives, and constantly innovate.”
ON LEADING A FIRM
It is important to continue to learn, hear from diverse perspectives, and constantly innovate. This past year we have been bringing in guest speakers to provide their perspectives on a host of social and economic topics from reconciliation, political branding, ESG, FDI among others. This has led to some very interesting new ideas from the team for the path ahead.
Fully understand the policy landscape and all inputs prior to building an engagement strategy. Otherwise, the approach may be too tactically weighted and less likely to have successful outcomes.
WHY GOVERNMENT RELATIONS?
I believe that the public interest evolves and requires dynamic regulatory frameworks to govern how all interests interact and intersect. Considered, thoughtful, multi-jurisdiction approaches to engagement can be a complex task. That complexity, when undertaken appropriately, is something that continues to interest me.
WHAT INFORMS YOUR WORK?
Intellectual curiosity has driven my interest in our clients, engagement with emerging industries and issues, and the continuous education path I have pursued. I grew up in Kingston, went to school in Montreal, and moved to Ottawa to work in Parliament. This experience informed my interest in public administration and government in its most broad sense.
Over the past twenty or so years, I have worked across several established and emerging practice areas in addition to my responsibilities in business operations. In recent years I have become a Board member for different entities which has been a very interesting learning experience and informs some of my client files.
I also have a young family and they are very much at the center of how and where I spend my time. I have always prioritized my personal and extra curricular activities over some of the more social aspects of this profession like receptions and dinners.
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE PROFESSION EVOLVE?
Vast and growing quantities of online information have prompted our profession to evaluate the importance of the volumes of data, research, social media activity, the role of a broader stakeholder community amongst others. While technology can assist with managing this information to an extent, our profession must evaluate the relevancy of the various sources and build a strategy that accommodates these for a client.
FINAL WORD TO THE COMMMUNITY
Ours is a very worthy and important profession. In a time when there is such a reliance on government, professional and engaged approaches are very much required to assist in the country’s rebuild and, in some cases, reimagination of the economy. There has perhaps never been a more important role for our profession.
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