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Robert Cresanti to Lead Government Relations And Public Policy for the IFA

Jenna Weisbord, 202-662-0766


WASHINGTON, March 19, 2014—International Franchise Association President & CEO Steve Caldeira announced today that Robert Cresanti will join the organization as Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy effective April 14.

“Robert Cresanti brings a wealth of government, corporate and trade association leadership experience to the IFA in the areas of business, international, technology, financial services and tax policy,” said Caldeira.  “IFA’s government relations and public policy initiatives, including our political action committee and our grassroots outreach efforts, have grown significantly over the past four years.  The addition of Robert’s expertise to the IFA senior management team represents a strong commitment that we are taking our federal and state advocacy efforts to the next level to ensure that we remain a strong go-to voice on all issues of importance to the small business community.”

Cresanti joins the IFA from SAP America, Inc., where he has served as vice president of Corporate Affairs & Government Relations since 2009.  In his public service, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2006 as Under Secretary for Technology for the Department of Commerce, the highest ranking U.S. official charged specifically with representing and advocating for the United States high tech industry globally.  He chaired multiple bilateral technology trade missions for the U.S. government in the European Union, Asia and Russia and served as co-chair for the White House PCAST, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In his nearly decade-long service on Capitol Hill, ranging from Committee Chief of Staff in the Senate, to Legislative Counsel in the House, he handled legislation before the Banking, Judiciary, Commerce, Government Affairs and Finance Committees.

As a trade association executive, he served as vice president of Global Public Policy for the Business Software Alliance from 2001 to 2006, representing the technology industry in international negotiations and complex regulatory, legislative and commercial legal matters on a global level. He also served as senior vice president and general counsel of ITAA (now TechAmerica). Immediately prior to joining SAP, he served as the CEO of the IPXI, the Intellectual Property Exchange.

“I’m thrilled to join the IFA, an organization with great strategic vision and brass tacks execution.  The IFA has clearly escalated its media presence and political influence in representing small business owners across the country,” said Cresanti.  “The exponential growth in the IFA’s political action committee, FranPAC, and the strength of its grassroots network make this an exciting time to join an industry that serves as a proven and essential economic catalyst to the country.”

Cresanti received a law degree from Baylor University School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Austin College. He also received a certificate of EC Law from the University of Glasgow Law School and completed master’s courses in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS.  Cresanti resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Colleen and their three children.

Editors Note: For a photo of Mr. Cresanti, please click here.


About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.