EVP Public Affairs at Starbucks
Vivek Varma is executive vice president, Public Affairs, leading Starbucks communications, community efforts, global responsibility, public policy, and partner (employee) engagement teams across the globe. He serves on Starbucks senior leadership team reporting to chief executive officer Kevin Johnson. Since joining Starbucks in 2008, Vivek has overseen initiatives and functions in the areas of Global Responsibility, Digital Ventures, Government Affairs, Investor Relations and Community Investment. He has shaped the company’s leadership agenda in areas of job creation, civic and social partnerships and brand initiatives across Europe, the Middle East, India, and China. Prior to coming to Starbucks, Vivek served in a variety of public affairs, image, policy and business marketing roles in his 12 years at Microsoft. From 2006-2008, he was General Manager of Communications reporting to the President of Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live business units. Vivek also served as Corporate Attorney/Policy and Communications Counsel in the Law and Corporate Affairs department at Microsoft, where he was a member of the Microsoft team defending the company in the Department of Justice antitrust case and building its global government affairs program. Before joining Microsoft, Vivek was the Executive Director of the Campaign for America Project, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization focused on campaign finance reform. From 1994-1995, he served as Policy Counsel for the Democratic Caucus of the House of Representatives. His career began on Capitol Hill in 1988 working for the late Congressman Mike Synar, a Democrat from Oklahoma. Vivek served a variety of staff and legislative roles for Congressman Synar, including serving as his Chief of Staff in the 103rd Congress. Vivek grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College and a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. Vivek is a board member of the Starbucks Foundation and of the Starbucks-Tata Alliance, Starbucks joint venture in India. He is also member of the Swarthmore College Athletic Hall of Fame, serving on the 1985 National Championship Tennis Team. Vivek resides in Mercer Island, Washington with his family.
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