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About Us

The Leadership Group’s Government Relations Committee and Team seek to amplify and advance our organization’s public policy positions at the local, state, and federal levels.

By proactively creating opportunities to engage our public-private stakeholders, we build diverse coalitions with a unified message, and achieve meaningful results that directly affect our quality of life.

Our goal is to engage in concerted, strategic advocacy efforts, build relationships, and positively impact public policy decisions that benefit the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s legislative and regulatory agenda.

David Packard of Hewlett Packard was known to say, “Our job is not to sit on the sidelines and cheer nor jeer, our job is to get into the game and move the ball forward.”

Silicon Valley has long been known for its collaborative, “can-do” civic spirit. This spirit depends on our ability to deliver an effective message and succeed collectively with our community and public leaders in city hall, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.

Our Team

Kristen Petersen
Government Relations Senior Associate
[email protected]
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Aakash Vashee
Government Relations Associate
[email protected]
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Government Relations Committee


The Government Relations Committee engages Silicon Valley business leaders in a proactive dialogue with local, state, and federal public policy leaders.

Specifically, the Government Relations Committee seeks to:

  • Increase Leadership Group member involvement in Sacramento, Washington D.C., and local outreach efforts in coordination with Leadership Group policy committees to deliver policy goals in a unified voice by engaging federal, statewide, and local elected officials, appointed officials and key staff members.
  • Educate and build awareness of governance and fiscal reform proposals, voter, policy, advocacy efforts and best practices.
  • Improve knowledge of Leadership Group mission, goals, and policy priorities with Sacramento elected and appointed officials, Washington D.C. public officials and Silicon Valley county and city officials


Meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday each month from from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

A full agenda packet with location information, previous meeting minutes and policy briefing papers is distributed at least one week in advance.


Rahul Chandhok, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Communications, San Francisco 49ers

Participating Member Companies

Adobe Systems


Airbnb, Inc.

Alliance Credit Union

Allied Telesis



Applied Materials


Aviat Networks

Bank of America

BD Biosciences


Blach Construction

Bloom Energy

Booster Fuels

Boston Consulting Group


Build Group

Cargill Salt

Cisco Systems

City National Bank



Commercial Energy


Cruise Automation

DBL Partners

Dignity Health


Edgewood Ventures

El Camino Hospital


Empire Broadcasting

Enel X North America, Inc.







General Motors

Gilead Sciences



Greenlight Apparel

Hannah Systems

Healthy Horizons



HP Inc.



Johnson & Johnson

JP Morgan Chase

Kaiser Permanente


Lam Research

Lawrence Berkeley National Labs

Lawrence Livermore National Labs

Lex Machina


Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford








Northeastern University

O’Connor Hospital

One Concern


Pacific Gas & Electric

Palmer College of Chiropractic

Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Palo Alto Networks


Peloton Technology



Regional Medical Center of San Jose

RSM Technologies

San Francisco 49ers

San Jose State University

San Jose Water Company

San Mateo County Community College District

Santa Clara University

ShieldX Networks Inc.

Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Leadership Group


SRI International

Stanford Health Care

Stanford University LLC


Sutter Health



T.Y. Lin International

Technology Credit Union

Tesla Inc.

Texas Instruments

Tinfoil Security

Trimble Inc.


University of California Berkeley

University of California Santa Cruz


VMware Inc.


Webcor Builders

Wells Fargo Bank

Western Digital Corporation



XL Construction



Government Relations Workplan

Annual Federal and State Advocacy Trips

Staff Lead: Kristen Petersen, Senior Associate of Government Relations

Priority:  At the Leadership Group we advocate for public policy at the state and federal level that is favorable towards member companies, amplifies their political voice and extends their influence. In addition to reaching a larger sphere of policy influence, these annual trips to Sacramento and Washington D.C.  strengthen the Leadership Group’s credibility and network in order to better serve our  member companies in a variety of policy fields.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • engage at least 45 board members, CEOs and local public officials on each trip for the Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip and/or the Sacramento Advocacy Trip
  • 2019 Washington D.C. and Sacramento Advocacy Trips should recruit 45 participants each compared to 32 in Sacramento 2018 and 45 in Washington, D.C. in 2018
  • execute at least one Washington, D.C. Advocacy Trip
  • execute at least one Sacramento Advocacy Trip with increased Sacramento engagement throughout the year

Local Government Outreach

Staff Leads: Kristen Petersen, Senior Associate of Government Relations

Priority: At the Leadership Group we strive to connect  local government officials to our member companies in seven different localized roundtables producing a worthwhile return on investment for our member companies. By moderating specific roundtable conversations we give a voice to our member companies and lend an ear to the city and county officials who work with us as partners in our mutual goals (i.e. Housing construction, traffic mitigation, facility expansion, autonomous vehicle expansion, etc.)

Quantifiable Goals:

  • host at least seven localized roundtables
  • engage local government officials from all five respective counties
  • produce a quantifiable list of “win-wins” that were mutually agreed upon following roundtable meetings

Silicon Valley Outreach and Engagement

Staff Lead: Kristen Petersen, Senior Associate of Government Relations, Aakash Vashee, Associate of Government Relations

Priority:  Through the creation of 60 strategic roundtables, the Leadership Group Government Relations team will connect Silicon Valley executives with stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels of government. These roundtables provide an opportunity for members to create dialogue, to share ideas, and to build stronger relationships with other member companies and various stakeholders.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • organize a total of 50 strategic roundtables between member company CEOs, C-suite officers, top government affairs professionals, women executives,  and elected officials
  • focus 7 localized roundtables on ten strategic Silicon Valley citiies
  • account for each “win-win” policy agenda item in a quantifiable log which can be used to track roundtable progress

State Advocacy: Silicon Valley Caucus

Staff Lead: Kristen Petersen, Senior Associate of Government Relations

Priority: The Leadership Group’s Silicon Valley Caucus meetings represent a meaningful opportunity for our members because we bring together elected officials and member companies within their districts. By bringing together the elected officials representing the greater Silicon Valley region with the member companies within that region, ideas are shared, issues are raised, and a coalition representing Silicon Valley’s interests is solidified.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • ensure Silicon Valley Caucus roundtables are executed three times each year
  • target goal of 100 executive participants
  • target goal of 13 legislators in attendance

Past Wins

Silicon Valley Legislative Caucus

The Silicon Valley Caucus includes 14 legislators: Senators Jim Beall, Anna Caballero, Steve Glazer, Jerry Hill, Bob Wieckowski, and Bill Monning; Assemblymembers Marc Berman, Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra, Evan Low, Kevin Mullin, Bill Quirk, Mark Stone, and Phil Ting. This allows those representing Silicon Valley to know the priority issues impacting quality of life and the cost of doing business in our region and state from a collective perspective.

The successful inaugural session hosted by SunPower CEO Tom Werner in Sacramento featured 12 Silicon Valley legislators and nearly 80 Leadership Group members many of whom were CEOs.  The discussion focused on the challenges facing Silicon Valley on a global scale and legislators sharing challenges facing our state.  With that foundation, we invested quarterly meetings in discussing specific ways we can work together to ensure our state’s success – through private sector job creation, a great quality of life for our workers, and a competitive business climate to meet the challenges of other states and nations. Subsequent sessions were hosted by Applied Materials Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter, Brocade Communications CEO Mike Klayko, Synopsys Chairman and CEO Aart de Geus, and Centrify CEO Tom Kemp.

Governance & Fiscal Reforms

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has a long-standing tradition of supporting bi-partisan governance and fiscal reforms for California, which annually rank among the highest state policy priorities for businesses.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group endorsed Proposition 14 in the “top two open primary” initiative and opposed Proposition 27 to protect the 2008 redistricting reform measure approved by California voters – the Leadership Group was successful in both efforts. In addition, the Leadership Group has strongly supported the Redistricting Reform ballot measure which resulted in redrawing the political boundaries for all congressional, state legislative and other statewide offices. In 2013, the Leadership Group supported the statewide Term Limits ballot initiative to bring more experience and stability to California’s political system. Most recently in 2016, our organization successfully supported Proposition 54, the Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote initiative, which greatly increased the transparency in our state legislature.

The Leadership Group is also a strong proponent of thoughtful, fiscal reform principles. California’s business climate will benefit from a more disciplined and performance-focused state fiscal system, which should be built on the foundation of accountability and results.

  • Budgeting for performance: Require clear goals and measure the performance of every program
  • Multi-year budgets: Adopt more flexibility and long-term planning in the state budgeting process, which was enacted into law by Governor Brown in 2011
  • Limit one-time revenue use
  • Manage volatile revenue spikes and increase reserves through a rainy day fund
  • Legislative transparency & oversight: Make all bills available to the public three days before a vote

Candidate Forums

Frequently, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group will interview candidates who are seeking local, state and federal office. While the purpose is not to endorse, the Leadership Group reviews candidates to determine if they are closely aligned with our principles and policy positions.

Most recently in 2018, forums were held in the following districts:

  • San Jose City Council District 7
  • San Jose City Council District 9
  • Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District 4

Fresh Ideas from Newly Elected Legislators

Staff Lead: Kristen Petersen, Senior Associate of Government Relations

Priority: The Leadership Group’s biannual event, Fresh Ideas From Newly Elected Legislators, is a great orientation for new elected officials to become acquainted with Silicon Valley’s policy priorities. The Leadership Group hosts a series of “get to know you sessions” during a two day trip where member companies better get to know new legislators, and new legislators better get to know one another. Participants have the opportunity to engage with the legislators to discuss solutions to improve California’s business climate and quality of life.

Quantifiable Goals:

  • Execute one Fresh Ideas event
  • target goal of 35 Member Companies in attendance
  • target goal of 11 of 16 newly elected legislators in attendance

Legislative Activity

2019 Legislation

2018 Legislation


Sacramento Advocacy Trip

May 1-2, 2018

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