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Government Affairs

Cisco engages with governments at many different levels to help shape public policy and regulations that support the technology sector and help governments meet their goals.

Cisco's Global Government Affairs team develops and influences pro-technology public policies and regulations.

Working collaboratively with industry stakeholders and association partners, the team builds relationships with government leaders to influence policies that affect Cisco's business and overall ICT adoption, looking to help shape policy decisions at a global, national, and local level.

The Government Affairs team is comprised of former elected officials, parliamentarians, regulators, senior U.S. government officials, and government affairs professionals who help Cisco promote and protect the use of technology around the world.

Current policy priorities include:

  • Increasing broadband and next-generation network deployment globally
  • Promoting wireless networking and increasing spectrum allocations for wireless use
  • Encouraging continued innovation in network security
  • Reforming the U.S. patent system
  • Limiting regulation of Voice over IP (VoIP) technology
  • Maintaining freedom for service providers to develop innovative business models
  • Balancing consumer privacy, network security, and Internet business
  • Promoting reasonable intellectual property rights management
  • Reforming the U.S. tax system to be more competitive globally
  • Reforming the U.S. high-skilled immigration system

We maintain an active High Tech Policy blog, and a Twitter feed where we discuss public policy issues that are important to our business and 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 and others such as education and cybersecurity. This allows all of our stakeholders to follow the conversations as well as contribute through comments and other social media interactions.

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.

We also collaborate with peers and industry organizations to build trust and develop strong relationships with government leaders through industry associations around the world. We disclose updates on our public policy efforts annually through Cisco's Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which can be found at http://csr.cisco.com/pages/csr-reports.

As part of Cisco's federal lobbying activity in the U.S., Cisco files quarterly reports of our activities. Our recent federal lobbying disclosures can be found below:

Political Support

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. To ensure that trade associations, industry groups and other politically active tax-exempt organizations, such as those organized under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)4, comply with this policy, Cisco informs all of its groups of this restriction by written communication on an annual basis.

We occasionally make corporate contributions in support of U.S. local and state ballot measures on issues that affect our operations. Cisco fully complies with all reporting requirements regarding such contributions and discloses those contributions on a quarterly basis here. Cisco reviews the Company's political contributions with the Board of Directors on at least an annual basis.

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.
Cisco ePAC Board members include:

Mark Chandler
Chair, ePAC Board
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer

Joe Cozzolino
Advisor, Office of the Chairman and CEO

Gerri Elliott
Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Fran Katsoudas
Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer

Maria Martinez
Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer

Ed Paradise
Vice President, Engineering, Security Trust Organization

Mark Patterson
Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales Strategy and Operations

Contributions made by ePAC are public and transparent. ePAC's contributions are reported online by the Federal Election Commission (www.fec.gov) and California Secretary of State. (http://www.sos.ca.gov/)

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.

Collaborating with Industry Organizations

We collaborate with peers to build trust and develop strong working relationships with government leaders through industry associations, including:

  • 4G Americas
  • Aspen Institute
  • Business Roundtable
  • California Chamber of Commerce
  • California Foundation for Environment and Economy
  • Center for Public Policy Innovation
  • Compete America
  • CompTia
  • CTIA - The Wireless Association
  • Consumer Electronics Association
  • Democratic Governors Association
  • Emergency Committee for American Trade
  • Equipment Leasing and Manufacturing Association
  • Transatlantic Business Council
  • Milpitas Chamber of Commerce
  • National Foreign Trade Council
  • National Governors Association
  • North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry
  • Professional Services Council
  • Republican Governors Association
  • San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • State Government Affairs Council
  • State Privacy and Security Coalition
  • TechNet
  • Telecommunications Industry Association
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • U.S.-China Business Council
  • Wi-Fi Alliance
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • National Foreign Trade Council

Cisco's Government Affairs organization reports directly to Chuck Robbins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, Cisco's Board of Directors participates in regular discussions among the Board and with Cisco's senior management of many core subjects, including strategy, operations, finance, and legal and public policy matters.