Toronto-GTA Chapter Director

Anne Kothawala

Anne is a seasoned public affairs and communications consultant who brings more than 20 years of experience in communications and government relations for several industry associations. Anne is known for her successes in integrating government outreach with stakeholder communications.
Anne started her career at a government relations consulting firm before moving to a public affairs role at the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. There she became an expert on trade issues including supply management as well as environmental issues. From there, she went to the Canadian Newspaper Association, first as vice president, policy then becoming President and CEO. During this time she successfully built industry consensus on recycling, lobbied to exempt newspapers from telemarketing legislation, reversed draft federal privacy legislation to the benefit of the industry, and managed branding campaigns.
She also worked as SVP, Public Affairs for the Retail Council of Canada. She developed expertise on a number of key issues including international trade and tariff regimes, payments, waste diversion and recycling, consumer protection, copyright and language and signage. Anne was also Vice President and Group Leader with Hill & Knowlton Strategies in their Toronto office. She worked with a broad range of clients from associations to the healthcare sector helping them develop comprehensive government relations and communications campaigns.
Anne currently heads up a trade association for convenience store retailers and distributors where she deals with food and beverage regulations, import issues, taxation and labor issues as well as organizing the industry’s annual Summit.
Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Political Science and Economics from McGill University and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. Anne is fluently bilingual, is the former Chair of the Daily Bread Food Bank, a past director with French for the Future and a past director with ParticipACTION. Anne is currently a member of the GTA Chapter for the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada. She has written several op-eds for major newspapers and was a weekly panelist on CFRB radio’s “Your Opinion Counts”.