Government Affairs

Policy, government, and technology

The Government Affairs team defends and advances Cisco’s business interests before policymakers around the world, and builds relationships with senior government leaders.

Led by Jeff Campbell, Government Affairs contributes substantively to public policy decisions at a global, national, and local level, focusing on public policies that impact Cisco, our partners, and our customers.

Government Affairs also builds relationships with government leaders worldwide to promote Cisco as a technology expert and a thought leader in the technology sector.

The team is composed of former public officials, both elected and appointed, as well as seasoned government affairs professionals. Government Affairs is part of the People, Policy & Purpose Organization led by Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer.

Cisco's policy priorities

Protecting free trade

We support policies that open markets for technology products and services, lower prices, increase choice, and promote innovation. Promoting and enforcing trade agreements is important to encouraging innovation and investments that spur economic growth and competitiveness.

Promoting investment

Cisco advocates for national tax policies that promote investment, encourage job creation, and incentivize innovation while also being consistent with existing global approaches to taxation.

Investing in people and knowledge

Cisco supports immigration policies that promote innovation by accelerating economic growth, encouraging hiring, and creating a highly skilled workforce. Reforming the immigration system in the U.S. will enable businesses to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. 

Advancing smart cybersecurity policies

Effective policies for cybersecurity risk management are foundational to Cisco’s efforts to securely connect consumers, businesses, and governments. In an interconnected world, smart policies will protect security in a dynamic threat environment while fueling economic growth and innovation.

Securely connecting the future

Society is becoming more connected, and devices are getting more intelligent. We need to harness the power of intuitive networks--powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence--to provide visibility and control over devices that may be unable to protect themselves against attack.

Preparing wireless networks for the next generation

Policies that promote network investment foster networks that can keep pace with rising consumer demand for data. For wireless, governments control access to a key input--radio spectrum--and therefore must make spectrum available for growth and new technologies.

Protecting innovation

Cisco supports balanced intellectual property rules that incentivize innovation while also reducing the threat of unnecessary and harmful litigation.

Preserving an open Internet

Cisco has always supported an open Internet. Ensuring that regulations are developed in a way that incentivizes network investment is essential to allowing continued innovation and flexibility to develop new business models.

Get the latest policy updates

In our High Tech Policy blog and Twitter feed, Government Affairs discusses public policy issues that are important to our business, and we provide insights into how we are working toward our policy goals.

The blog and Twitter feed detail Cisco's positions on and advocacy efforts for policy priorities, including those listed above as well as others like education and cybersecurity. All of our stakeholders can follow the conversations and contribute through comments and other social media interactions.

U.S. federal lobby compliance

As part of Cisco’s federal lobbying activity in the U.S., Cisco files quarterly reports of our activities. See our recent federal lobbying disclosures below.

U.S. political disclosure

Cisco does not make political contributions to candidates for U.S. federal or state elective office, nor does Cisco make contributions to political parties or other committees for the purpose of influencing the election of candidates to federal, state, or local public office. Cisco also does not engage in independent expenditures or electioneering communications, nor do we make payments to trade associations or other industry groups to be used specifically for political purposes.

Cisco occasionally makes corporate contributions in support of U.S. local and state ballot measures on issues that would directly impact our operations. Cisco fully complies with all reporting requirements regarding such contributions and discloses those contributions on a quarterly basis.

The Government Affairs team reviews and analyzes Cisco’s political contributions regularly to ensure contributions made during the year are consistent with its political support guidelines. Cisco’s political contributions are reviewed with the Board’s Nomination and Governance Committee, which consists solely of independent directors, on at least an annual basis.

Trade associations

Government Affairs works closely with industry peers through trade associations to advance our policy priorities, monitor business trends, and build strong relationships with government leaders around the world. Participation in a trade association does not mean that Cisco is in agreement with all of the policy positions taken by or the issues prioritized by that organization.

Cisco makes payments to these associations, including membership fees and dues. See a list of the company’s annual dues payments. It is the company’s policy to instruct U.S. trade associations not to use company funds for contributions to federal, state, or local candidates, independent campaign expenditures, or for other political purposes.

Employee Political Action Committee

Cisco’s employee-sponsored political action committee (ePAC) enables eligible U.S. employees to contribute to the campaigns of U.S. federal and state elected officials and political candidates who champion the technology industry’s public policy priorities. All campaign contributions made by Cisco’s ePAC are made according to a plan that supports Cisco’s policy objectives and is approved annually by the ePAC board, whose members include:

Jeff Sharritts

EVP and Chief Customer and Partner Officer
Chair, ePAC Board

Jeff Campbell

SVP and Chief Government Strategy Officer

Fran Katsoudas

EVP and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer

Maria Martinez

EVP and Chief Operating Officer

Ed Paradise

SVP, Security & Trust Organization

Mark Patterson

SVP, Chief of Staff to the Chair & CEO

See a list of our recent ePAC contributions.

We encourage civic engagement and provide educational opportunities for employees on specific issues, as well as opportunities to meet with political candidates through town hall meetings and other forums.

Cisco employees are guided by our Code of Business Conduct, which stipulates expectations regarding political activities and interactions with government entities and their employees or representatives.