David French is senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation and executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants. As NRF’s chief lobbyist, he plans and implements advocacy strategy for the world’s largest retail trade association. As executive director of NCCR, French leads efforts to advance sound public policy that serves restaurant businesses and the millions of people they employ.
French has played a leading role in the most important legislative battles affecting retail, including swipe fee reform, internet sales tax, patents, labor policy issues, tax reform and trade policy. In 2017, French scored a rare double win for the retail industry on the same major legislation, first by managing a national coalition to stop the Border Adjustment Tax, a centerpiece of the House GOP plan for tax reform. After the defeat of the BAT plan, he coordinated retail industry lobbying and advocacy in support of the historic corporate tax reform law enacted at the end of 2017.
French came to NRF in 2011 from the International Franchise Association, where he served as senior vice president of government relations and public policy. Prior to joining IFA in 2006, he led the government relations programs at the International Foodservice Distributors Association and Food Distributors International for five years. He previously spent nearly 10 years on Capitol Hill, serving on the staffs of former Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., former Representative Matthew Rinaldo, R-N.J., and the House Select Committee on Aging.
French is routinely identified as one of the top association lobbyists in Washington by the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill and other publications.
French is a native of Pittsburgh and holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.