Katherine Lugar is president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association. The association is the leading policy and public education advocate for the non-alcoholic beverage industry which has a direct economic impact of more than $182 billion, provides nearly 253,000 jobs and helps to support hundreds of thousands more that depend, in part, on beverage sales for their livelihoods. The association’s membership includes America’s leading beverage companies – The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper, PepsiCo – as well as bottlers, which together represent communities from coast to coast.
In this role, she is responsible for setting the strategic vision for ABA, and serving as the industry’s voice on Capitol Hill, within the Administration and beyond the Beltway. Lugar also serves as president of the Board of Directors of the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, which strives to make a significant contribution to the health of local communities by providing grants to support community organizations that work to advance both the physical health of their local citizens and the environmental health of their communities.
Prior to joining ABA, Lugar served as president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and oversaw the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation. During her tenure, she led the association to grow to its highest point in its 100-year history, tripling revenue and membership, achieving record HotelPAC contributions, surpassing $2 million in PAC contributions per cycle, increasing the focus on advocacy and ensuring greater industry engagement. Lugar also led the industry to secure a number of high-profile victories on issues ranging from workforce policy to regulation of the short-term rental marketplace, travel and tourism promotion, and technology and distribution.
With 25 years of experience in public and private sector public affairs, Lugar began her career in Washington, D.C., on the staff of Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer. She also has held positions as executive vice president of public affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), vice president of government relations for Travelers Insurance, and vice president of legislative and political affairs for the National Retail Federation.
Lugar was recently named incoming Chair of the Board of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private sector funder of pediatric cancer research, and sits on the Boards of Directors of Carey Watermark Investors 2, The Bryce Harlow Foundation and Bipartisan Policy Center Action (BPC Action). She is also a member of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Association Committee of 100. She has been recognized as a “Leader to Watch” by The Washington Post, and named one of Washington, D.C.’s top lobbyists for the past eight years by The Hill.
A native of Texas, Lugar is a graduate of The University of Colorado – Boulder. She and her husband, David, reside in McLean, Va., with their three children – Elizabeth, Kate and Mac.