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Shawn Townsend Bio

Shawn Townsend, RAMW President & CEO, joined the Association in January 2023. Townsend is a veteran communicator and leader with a career dedicated to building trusted expertise in public-private partnerships. No stranger to the restaurant world, he grew up in the industry in his father’s restaurant. As he built his career, Townsend spent more than a decade in the District of Columbia government, eventually appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser as the inaugural Director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture. In that role, he advised the administration on the issues affecting much of the city’s hospitality industry, serving as a conduit to the business community while identifying engagement opportunities. He was integral in developing the District’s strategic hospitality engagement plan both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and brings to his role at RAMW a wealth of knowledge and contemporary expertise.

Previously a Principal at Dewey Square, he supported the firm’s State and Local Affairs and Multicultural Strategies practice, engaging with clients to provide strategic guidance and awareness campaigns to address public policy issues. The insights, best practices, and relationships he brings to RAMW will be integral to the organization’s continued success.