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American Equity Head of Government Relations & Industry Affairs in West Des Moines, Iowa


American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company is a leading retirement income provider specializing in fixed index annuities designed to protect principal and guarantee income. American Equity is committed to quality products and high-level customer service, integrity, excellence and safety, delivering customers the promise of protected growth of their savings and the dignity of a paycheck for life.

Founded in 1995, they currently fund over half a million retirements nationwide. American Equity is a NYSE-listed company and maintains an “excellent” rating from AM Best. The company is the #3 producer of fixed income annuities, has over $57 billion in assets, 21,000 active agents and over 700 employees. They succeed by hiring people who embody the beliefs that drive their unique, energetic, fast-paced and caring culture. The team is built on trust, motivated to accomplish a shared mission through collaboration, ownership, drive and innovation.


The Head of Government Relations & Industry Affairs leads the development and execution of strategic policy positions regarding Federal and State government, regulatory agencies, and other government officials including the assessment of key legislative, policy and regulatory risks and opportunities. The incumbent monitors, anticipates, and understands Federal and State legislative and regulatory policy activities; analyzes the impact of proposed legislation and regulations on the company’s business operations; provides stakeholders with recommendations; and manages the company’s interaction with and membership in various trade associations.


  • Develops strong partnerships with internal stakeholders to fully understand the impact of regulations on their business strategy.

  • Leverages industry intelligence and internal expertise to track and prioritize issues of focus. Analyzes developments in Federal and State policy, including analysis of legislative drafts and proposals applicable to company business.

  • Develops early awareness on regulatory developments; work across business lines to socialize information and drive agreement on internal policy positions.

  • Sets company advocacy strategy in consultation with senior leadership and actively implements that strategy within the trade associations.

  • Produces impact assessments for senior management on new and proposed Federal and State laws and regulation in collaboration with relevant internal stakeholders.

  • Provides strategic communications and updates to senior management. Drafts policy position papers, memos and talking points on company policy positions for meetings with government officials, trade associations and key non-governmental organizations as needed.

  • Develops and implements strategies to work with other influential stakeholders to advance policy positions, including independent agents, distribution groups and consumer groups.

  • Represents company at political events, conferences and meetings.

  • Provides regulatory guidance on company initiatives and make recommendations regarding implementation of internal processes in response to enacted legislation.

  • Develops strong partnerships with trade associations and serve as the point person for advancing company positions to key committees. Leads and directs company participation on, and contributions to, trade association comment letters on proposed regulations and regulatory actions that are material to the company’s business.

  • Develops and implements a political contributions plan that adheres to all applicable laws and regulations regarding lobbying and political contributions. Hires and manages third party providers, consultants and lobbyists as needed.

  • Has connections, relationships or access to “insiders” in both federal and state government.

  • Ensures prudent management of expenses for area of responsibility by establishing and monitoring department, team and/or project budget.

  • Performs other related work as assigned.


Direct Reports: None

General Description of Indirect Reports (2 and 3-downs): None


Bachelor’s degree in business administration or related field; plus ten (10) years of leadership experience in comprehensive government affairs and/or regulatory policy development function within large, complex insurer, preferably with a focus on fixed indexed annuities; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Juris Doctorate preferred but not required.




  • Experience in developing and implementing a government affairs program.

  • Extensive network of government contacts at both state (specifically IA) and federal level.

  • Demonstrated experience working directly with government officials.

  • Ability to read through complex legislation, distill it to the key points relevant to the life and annuity industry and seek the input of other subject matter experts to assess and summarize impact.

  • Strong advocacy skills both oral and written, and proven ability to advocate for priorities

  • Ability to quickly understand and address operations, insurance, tax, technology, privacy and other policy issues that may impact the company’s business interests.

  • Dynamic communicator who can explain technical details to a broad external audience and brief public policy developments to an internal audience

  • Ability to quickly understand business needs, research, analyze data and develop recommendations that balance competing concerns.

  • Strong understanding of applicable processes, rules, regulations, and key interdependencies. Effective at navigating government approval processes.

  • Strategic thinker that is viewed as a trusted business partner. Comfortable with decision making in a complex, multi-department environment.

  • Effective verbal and written communication skills. Effective at articulating information to diverse internal and external audiences.

  • Advanced writing skills with the ability to prepare briefings, position papers, etc.

  • Strong emotional intelligence, able to establish influence, skilled at cultivating relationships. Effective at educating and partnering with policymakers and stakeholders, including executive audiences.

  • Proactive with strong time management skills and the ability to balance competing priorities with flexibility. Ability to anticipate risks and take appropriate action.

  • Ability to work cooperatively and successfully with employees, customers, and other outside third parties.

  • Strong organizational and planning skills.

  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite.