Robert Cresanti serves as the President & CEO of the International Franchise Association, the world's oldest and largest organization representing the franchising industry.
Cresanti joined the IFA in April of 2014 from SAP America, Inc., where he 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.
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.