The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced the appointment of Denzel McGuire as chief of federal and state government relations. Denzel starts her new role at DISCUS on January 25.
“Denzel brings to DISCUS more than 20 years’ experience in government relations, grassroots and coalition building,” said Chris Swonger, DISCUS president and CEO. “Her extensive Capitol Hill, White House and trade association experience will be an incredible asset to DISCUS as we communicate to policymakers at the federal and state levels about critical issues impacting the spirits industry and our consumers.”
Denzel has deep roots on Capitol Hill, serving in top positions for Senate Republicans including chief policy advisor to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY); deputy chief of staff to U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and chief of staff to U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH).
Denzel also served as a program associate director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where she advised the director of OMB, cabinet members and agency heads on budget and policy matters, and reviewed and approved all executive branch actions related to education, labor and income management, and food programs.
In this new position, Denzel will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of DISCUS’ legislative agenda. She will be charged with overseeing government relations activities at both the state and federal levels and developing comprehensive strategies to reduce excessive regulatory and legislative burdens impacting the distilled spirits industry and spirits consumers.
“DISCUS has long had a reputation in the nation’s capital as a top-notch trade association, not only as an effective advocacy organization but also as a leader in social responsibility,” said McGuire. “The spirits industry has a great story to tell, and I’m excited to ensure regulators and legislators get to know the sector better including the numerous contributions distillers across the country are making in their communities. I am looking forward to working for an association that turns 50 this year and represents the companies whose products have so often been associated with toasting and celebrating with friends and family over many generations.”
Most recently, Denzel was the principal of McGuire LLC, a legislative, regulatory and advocacy firm specializing in budget, education and workforce issues.
She also spent three years at the Grocery Manufacturers of America as the executive vice president for government affairs. In that capacity, Denzel managed a team of lobbyists and directed campaigns to address federal and state legislation and regulations impacting food and beverage manufacturers and consumers.
Earlier in her career on Capitol Hill, Denzel also served as the minority staff director of the Senate Budget Committee and also held positions on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources; and U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Denzel lives in Virginia and received a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia.