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John T. Mechem
Vice President of Public Affairs
Mortgage Bankers Association
John T. Mechem serves as the Vice President of Public Affairs in the External Relations group of the Mortgage Bankers Association. In this capacity, he manages public affairs activity for the association, including media relations, speechwriting and executive communications. He is responsible for strengthening and increasing MBA's voice on public policy positions and research data and analysis on the residential and commercial/multifamily real estate finance markets. He also develops overarching industry messages and helps define and develop key messages related to industry issues. Additionally, he oversees MBA’s suite of Newslink daily and weekly email news publications.
Prior to joining MBA in 2006, John spent five years as Director of Communications for the American Forest & Paper Association where he served as spokesman and oversaw public outreach for the association's forestry group. In that role, he managed both paid and earned media campaigns to promote the industry's public policy agenda, including the industry's efforts in support of President Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative. He also created and implemented strategies to promote the industry's "best practices", including defending the industry and members from marketplace campaigns and public relations attacks from environmental groups.
John began his career in public affairs on Capitol Hill, serving as Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), where he managed Senator McConnell's state media outreach, including his weekly press conference with state media and writing the Senator's monthly newspaper column. In 1998, he was tapped by newly-elected Senator (and baseball Hall of Famer) Jim Bunning (R-KY) to run his press operation. Among his first duties upon assuming his job was managing the Senator's media and communications surrounding the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.
John graduated from Colby College in Waterville, ME with a degree (BA, 1993) in Government and American Studies.