Ziad S. Ojakli is a Ford Motor Company group vice president of Government and Community Relations.
Mr. Ojakli leads a team that helps shape policy and legislation that promote the company’s core business objectives including areas of tax, litigation and regulatory relief for business, energy reform, automotive safety, international trade, and improvements in the nation’s health care and pension systems.
As head of Ford’s global governmental relations and public policy, Mr. Ojakli oversees interactions with governments in 110 markets around the world where Ford does business. He is responsible for Ford’s federal and state government relations in the U.S., as well as the company’s community relations. His public policy office identifies emerging issues and develops positions aligned with corporate principles and business objectives.
Mr. Ojakli also oversees the company’s philanthropic arm, the Ford Motor Company Fund, which contributes to worthy causes to support a broad range of initiatives to improve the quality of life within our communities. And he is also chairman of Ford’s Political Action Committee and oversees the grassroots communications effort of Ford employees.
From 2001 – 2004, Mr. Ojakli served President George W. Bush as a Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, the President’s chief liaison to the U.S. Senate. In this role, he managed daily interactions for the White House with U.S. Senators, assisted in strategy and policy development, and coordinated legislative strategy with administration agencies and Cabinet departments. Mr. Ojakli also directed the administration’s efforts to secure confirmation of presidential nominations.
Prior to joining the White House staff, Mr. Ojakli served as the Senate liaison for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team.
From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Ojakli was policy director and chief of staff to the Senate Republican conference secretary, the late Sen. Paul Coverdell (RGA). He played a key role in planning and implementing the legislative goals of the Senate Republican leadership and was responsible for developing and managing much of the communications strategy for the Republican leadership.
From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Ojakli served as chief of staff to Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) and was Souder’s key political and policy advisor. Prior to that, he was a legislative assistant to Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), specializing in budget, tax, trade, energy and environmental issues.
Mr. Ojakli is an active board member of numerous organizations, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; the Arab American Museum Advisory Board; Arab American Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS); Fabretto Children’s Foundation; The Henry Ford Learning Institute; Michigan Manufacturers Association; National Association of Manufacturers; and the Washington Center for Internships.
Along with his corporate work, Mr. Ojakli was named a delegate to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, joining 410 leaders from all regions of the world.
A graduate of Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in American Government, Mr. Ojakli joined Ford in January, 2004.