Cicely Simpson is a seasoned Public Speaker, Leadership Coach, Author and Founder / CEO of the Summit of Public Affairs. She focuses on inspiring smart, successful, motivated professionals to achieve their greatest goals and highest level of impact by finding their voice and creating conversations that need to be had. She believes that when there’s no chair at the table, we must pull up a new one and make room for others to do the same. C.H.A.I.R. Leadership is Cicely’s proprietary program that she uses as a platform to coach clients in advancing their own careers by optimizing their impact, relevance, and achievements. The program is based on five strategies — one for each letter of the word C.H.A.I.R.— and inspired by the famous quote from Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Congresswoman.
Additionally, Cicely is an in-demand public speaker. Her discussions involve a wide range of topics at the intersection of politics and business such as: C.H.A.I.R. Leadership, leading in the boardroom, career advancement, political trends and political risk management for businesses.
Leveraging her 20 years of leadership experience in public affairs, public policy, communications, political, and legal affairs, Cicely brings a wealth of business and public affairs knowledge to Summit Public Affairs — a bi-partisan government affairs and communications firm. She helps clients proactively manage the intersection of business and politics at all levels of government: federal, state, and local.
Prior to launching Summit Public Affairs, Cicely served as the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association leading the restaurant industry’s public affairs strategy at all levels of government to achieve the industry’s public policy and political goals. During Cicely’s tenure at the Association, she was named to the Nation’s Restaurant News Top 10 Power List. She has also been recognized as one of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2016, Cicely was recognized with the Association Trends 2016: Leading Association Lobbyists award.
Prior to joining the Association, Cicely served as Vice President of Government Affairs at Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., the franchisor and corporate parent of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants. During her tenure at Dunkin’ Brands, she led the company’s legislative, regulatory, and political strategy with federal, state, local, and international governments. Prior to her service at Dunkin’ Brands, Cicely served as the Legislative Director for two Tennessee Congressmen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis. She began her career in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Criminal Division, before joining the law firm of Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop in Nashville. Cicely received a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University’s School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Lipscomb University in Nashville.
Cicely currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Pepperdine School of Law, Board of Trustees for Lipscomb University, the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army National Capital Area, the Board of Directors for Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, and Board of Advisors Member for Klosebuy. She is also a forthcoming author with Washington Business Journal Books.