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Heather Paffe
Heather Paffe.jpeg

Heather currently tracks public policy, recruits partners, and manages collaborations with other companies and stakeholders in the health and IT fields for Merck & Co.. She serves as Merck’s lead representative before local government entities and the broader Austin community, engages in public issues, and recruits partners and manages collaborations with other companies and stakeholders in the health and IT fields.

Immediately prior to Merck, Heather led legislative, regulatory and community engagement campaigns for clean energy pioneer and automaker Tesla in the southern and western regions of the U.S. She also spent eight years at international non-profit Environmental Defense Fund, where she oversaw efforts to make sustainable fishing the global norm through advocacy and regulatory efforts in the U.S., European Union, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Her teams effectively influenced local and national policies so that both the fishing industry and ocean will once again be prosperous.

Earlier in her career, Heather spent six years as the director of the Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, where she led their legislative efforts and established their first-ever 504c(4) and Political Action Committee. In 2007, she and her team were awarded Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s first-ever national award for Innovation, Creativity and Success during a legislative session. Heather also served as a political, policy and communications consultant for a variety of organizations, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and United Ways of Texas. She led the Texas office of the Children’s Defense Fund, managed political campaigns and worked for two of Texas’ Lieutenant Governors.


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