Walmart executive to serve as NRF's communications leader

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has named Bill Thorne SVP communications and public affairs. He will join NRF on June 1 to oversee the organization's industry and public affairs communications strategy, including NRF's "Retail Means Jobs" campaign, a multimillion dollar initiative to demonstrate the power of retail to America’s economy and the career opportunities within the industry.

Thorne currently serves as senior director of community affairs at Walmart.

"Throughout his long career, Bill has proven himself to be an accomplished strategist with an incredible track record of creating and building successful campaigns," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "As NRF continues to invest in talent and resources to promote the retail industry both in Washington and around the world, bringing in an executive at the intersection of retail and government will help us tell the industry’s story in an even more compelling way."

During his tenure at Walmart, Thorne oversaw the creation and execution of campaigns for urban market entry, including budgets, strategy, and planning and development of both long- and short-term campaigns. He also served as senior director of advocacy outreach, where he created and successfully launched Walmart's corporate, public and political advocacy network.

Prior to Walmart, Thorne served as VP at DCI Group, where he led grassroots advocacy, public relations, and communications programming for a number of prestigious corporate and association clients. He also spent four years as director of political and legislative grassroots at the American Medical Association.

Earlier in his career, Thorne worked in various political capacities at the state and national levels including several years with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and more than five years with Sen. Phil Gramm. A native of Georgia, he holds a B.A. in journalism and political science from the University of Georgia.

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