Speakers Profile

Mr John H Downs
Vice President, Global Government Relations & Public Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company, USA

John H. Downs, Jr. is vice president, global government relations and public affairs for The Coca-Cola Company. He is responsible for global government relations, diplomatic relations, and stakeholder relations. His team includes the international government relations and public affairs group, the corporate government relations and diplomatic teams in the Company’s Washington office, and the Company’s New York office.

In 1986, John joined the Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company as vice president, administration and public affairs and soon was promoted to vice president, public affairs for Coca-Cola Enterprises’ North Group. In 1989, John was named corporate vice president and an officer, and established the public affairs and communications function at Coca-Cola Enterprises the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler. He was appointed senior vice president, public affairs and communications in 1999 and was a member of the executive leadership team. At Coca-Cola Enterprises he led an international team across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. He was responsible for government relations and issues management, corporate responsibility and sustainability, crisis communications, media relations and external communications, employee and executive communications, and community relations. John joined The Coca-Cola Company overseeing global government relations and public affairs in October, 2010.

John began his career in government relations as a legislative assistant to the Speaker of the House in Maryland. He expanded his government relations background by serving as Director of Governmental Affairs at the Glass Packaging Institute, a national trade association in Washington, D.C., and as the Director of State and Local Governmental Affairs for the American Beverage Association. In these roles, he has been involved with and led several major issue management and political campaigns at the state and federal level.

John serves on numerous boards including The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association Board of Governors, the Georgia and Cobb County Chambers of Commerce, Morehouse School of Medicine, Voices for Georgia’s Children, and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. He was appointed to the Board of
Governors of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority by Governor Sonny Perdue. He is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.

He holds a B.A. degree in political science from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and completed some graduate work in the M.B.A. program at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.