Pernod Ricard USA is expanding its Washington, D.C.-based government relations team with two new executives.
Joseph Durso, senior director, public affairs; and Maura Jeffords, director, public affairs and policy; will both report to Tara Engel, vice president, public and national affairs.
Durso is a former elected official with extensive experience in government relations, public policy, and issues advocacy. He served as Vice President of Public Affairs for Embrace Families, Inc., a recognized national leader in child welfare services, for more than 17 years. Durso was instrumental in expanding the Orlando, Fla.-based organization’s operations nationally, and in developing effective health care and social service policy at the local, state, and federal levels.
In addition to his work at Embrace Families, Durso served as Longwood, Florida’s Mayor and District 2 City Commissioner from 2008-2017, becoming the youngest mayor in the city’s history. He was also a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida.
Jeffords is a public policy and government relations professional with comprehensive background in international trade, economic law, tax and regulatory issues in the private and public sectors. For more than a decade, she applied her expertise while serving in a series of public policy and government relations roles for Diageo in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and for Diageo Global. Previously, she worked at the US Department of Commerce, investigating allegations of unfairly traded imports into the US market.