Meet the Staff at FPA: A Conversation With John J. Richard, Director of Government Relations

Meet the Staff at FPA: A Conversation With John J. Richard, Director of Government Relations
Digital Exclusive


Editor’s note: FlexPack VOICE® has featured workers of the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) in a series of short profiles since 2022. John J. Richard, FPA director of government relations, is a newer member of the team.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Richard lived in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania before settling down in Pasadena, Maryland.

FPA’s new director of government relations says a passion for effective policymaking led him to the University of Pittsburgh, where he obtained a bachelor’s in history and political science and then a master’s in public administration.

“Despite serving in a variety of research roles in undergrad and graduate school, my first ‘real’ job was as a summer analyst on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s International Affairs and Trade team,” Richard says. “From there, I served Congressman Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., as an intern on Capitol Hill before landing a role at the National Restaurant Association doing data analytics.”

After his work in the  restaurant industry, he was hired by The Aluminum Association to work on its trade and infrastructure portfolios before handling a variety of issues at the National Grocers Association.

FlexPack VOICE®: Talk a little bit about your duties with FPA.

John J. Richard: As FPA’s director of government relations, I am responsible for leveraging the collective knowledge of our members to effectively tell the story of flexible packaging to policymakers. It is my job to set and develop FPA’s policy positions, provide accurate and useful information to support those positions, and advance the agenda of FPA’s membership federally and across the 50 states. Flexible packaging has leveraged paper, plastic, and foil to create innovative packaging solutions since the early 1950s. Despite outperforming older, industrial-age competitors on natural resource inputs, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions, many policymakers still struggle to understand the sustainability advantages of our industry over a product’s life cycle. It is my responsibility as a lobbyist to help our elected officials understand how the tremendous innovation our industry brings to the table can help accomplish their legislative agendas for the year ahead.

FPV: What do you like to do when you are not working?

JJR: When I’m not in the office, you can find me taking my 10-month-old daughter to swim lessons, racing sailboats on the Chesapeake, traveling, eating good food, or taking a nap with my dog. Since moving to Maryland, I’ve become an Orioles convert and look forward to taking my wife and daughter to see them win the World Series next year.

FPV: Anything that you would like to say about your family?

JJR: I am marvelously privileged to live with my wife, Moriah; my daughter, Minerva; and our dog, Gimli. My parents have also retired from running their dental practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to spend more time with their granddaughter.

FPV: Anything that you would like to add that we didn’t think to ask?

JJR: I’m still new to the industry, so if we haven’t had a chance to connect, feel free to reach out at jrichard@flexpack.org.

Thomas A. Barstow is senior editor of FlexPack VOICE®.