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John D. Sparks, Director of Advocacy and Communications

John D. Sparks joined MWA in 2010 as the organization’s first Director of Advocacy and Communications. Mr. Sparks has more than 25 years of experience in Washington and New York in lobbying, coalition building, policy development, media relations, and nonprofit executive leadership. Prior to MWA, he was Director of Campaign Finance Reform at the public interest group Common Cause, 2008-2009, and previously he was Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at the American Symphony Orchestra League for  nine years, including the period when the arts and humanities mounted a successful campaign to turn back attacks on federal support for the arts and humanities. Mr. Sparks also played a leading role in a national coalition’s successful battle to protect nonprofit advocacy rights.  Previous assignments included senior leadership positions in two for-profit public affairs firms in Washington DC with a variety of clients, and two national advocacy coalitions in the nonprofit sector. Mr. Sparks has provided policy development, lobbying, and strategic leadership for large and small organizations seeking to protect human rights and civil society, reform transportation, accelerate international development, and advocate for government reform. He also served as press secretary for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and worked for several Congressional campaigns and Presidential campaigns.