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Washington insider

  Alumni Profile  

Steve Anderson ’75 has appeared on “NBC Nightly News” with Tom Brokaw, “CBS Evening News” with Dan Rather, “The Today Show”, C-Span, and in the pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Steve Anderson ’75 is an insider’s insider, a man who knows the ins and outs of the nation’s capital. Now his status has been solidified by Association Trends magazine, which named him association executive of the year for 2004.

Anderson is president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, a lobbying and public relations group. Prior to taking that position in 1999, Anderson was president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute, as well as a candidate for Congress in 1980. He has been named to numerous top executive lists.

He is a registered lobbyist, spends time on the Hill and with President Bush on occasion, as well as appearing on just about every major news program at some time or another.

“There’s a lot of diversity in what I do,” says Anderson. “I could do something different every day.”

Anderson discovered his love of politics when he became enamored with Sen. Robert Kennedy.

“After he was assassinated I can remember going to the World Book Encyclopedia and looking up political science,” Anderson says. “I developed an interest after that.”

While attending Cornell, which he credits with fostering his love of politics, Anderson interned in the House of Commons. He came back wanting to have the same experience in Washington. He worked for Congressman John Anderson (no relation), and hasn’t left the capital yet.

Anderson loves the D.C. area and says his favorite part is representing the nation’s largest private-sector employer. The restaurant industry comprises 12 million people.

“I have the unique opportunity to protect and defend the livelihoods of 878,000 restaurants, most of them being small businesses found on every street corner of America,” he says.

Anderson has two children with wife Dayna.

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