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Apple searching for new public policy director to influence government

Apple is searching for a new director of public policy as it looks to both influence and react to government policies and regulations worldwide, according to an official job listing discovered by AppleInsider.

The person will be responsible for developing and guiding Apple's public policy agenda, the listing states, as well as keeping track of international legal and political developments in order to inform upper-tier Apple executives and provide them with options. Reaching in the other direction, the role also involves consulting with senior and mid-level managers to find out what the impact of government policies might be.

Perhaps more significantly the new director will be responsible for crafting letters, position papers, and testimony with the goal of persuading lawmakers and regulators to adopt policies friendly to Apple's business practices and profits. The successful candidate will in fact be expected to appear at public hearings, whether to give testimony or only provide advice.

A more specific duty involves implementing strategies that "ensure that participation in various international trade associations is maximized."

On its website, Apple says that it "engages in policy discussions" on matters like privacy, the environment, and intellectual property, with strategic guidance overseen by top-level Apple executives including CEO Tim Cook. The company has its own government affairs group, but also hires outside lobbyists to influence all levels of government.

The company adds that it doesn't run a PAC (political action committee) or donate money to specific candidates or parties, but that it does sometimes contribute to various initiatives and ballot measures. One of the most famous cases involved Apple financially backing the "No" campaign for Prop 8, a California ballot measure that sought to ban gay marriage. The measure passed regardless, but was later overturned in a series of court rulings that escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court.