D.C.’s ‘Night Mayor’ to Head Restaurant Association

By The Georgetowner

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), the trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, will have a new president & CEO — Shawn Townsend — effective mid-January.

Established in 1920, RAMW advocates for and promotes the vitality of the capital region’s hospitality industry and, under Townsend’s new leadership, will continue its legacy of legislative and regulatory representation, education and workforce development, marketing, small business support, and more.

Townsend is a veteran communicator and leader with a career dedicated to building trusted expertise in public-private partnerships. No stranger to the restaurant world, he grew up in the industry in his father’s restaurant. As he built his career, Townsend spent more than a decade in the District of Columbia government, eventually appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser as the inaugural Director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture — aka “Night Mayor.” In that role, he advised the administration on the issues affecting much of the city’s hospitality industry, serving as a conduit to the business community while identifying engagement opportunities. He was integral in developing the District’s strategic hospitality engagement plan both before and during the pandemic and brings to his role at RAMW a wealth of knowledge and contemporary expertise.

Previously a principal at Dewey Square, he supported the firm’s State and Local Affairs and Multicultural Strategies practices, engaging with clients to provide strategic guidance and awareness campaigns to address public policy issues.

Townsend said of the new role, “Throughout the pandemic, I worked closely with RAMW to deliver much needed relief for the industry. Our restaurants have been critical to the dynamic growth of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region. I am excited for the opportunity to build on those efforts at such an important moment with a talented team. I am looking forward to getting to work.”

Read more: Georgetowner