A global perspective comes naturally to Jeff Hardee.
After spending more than half of his life abroad, including more than 20 years professionally in Asia, Hardee is set to continue his journey in Singapore as Caterpillar’s director of Asia-Pacific government and corporate affairs. The international policy and economic veteran, who started with the company Aug. 19, said the region’s economic trends coupled with Caterpillar’s global reputation drew him to the position.
“When I meet people at Caterpillar, I also see people talking about how long they’ve been there in terms of decades, not days and years, but decades, so I think that speaks very highly of the company and that’s also a very attractive part of the company: There’s a lot of stability,” Hardee said. “I think the company is well-established in the region. There’s been a lot of new investment, and I think we’ll see more investment.”
Hardee spent his childhood in Asia, moving among the Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan and Malaysia before returning to the United States for college. He graduated with degrees in economics and political science from Duke University and received a master’s in public administration from the University of Texas. He then spent more than nine years at the U.S. Department of Commerce working on Asian policy and economic issues, including work at the U.S. embassy in Indonesia.
Hardee’s government work exposed him to issues he would later encounter with the Motion Picture Association of America, the Business Software Alliance and Dell.
“I’ve got a good grasp of how the U.S. government works,” Hardee said, noting the importance of maintaining government contacts he has developed. “Once you learn how to work that process, you can work on many different issues because the process is really pretty much the same.”
Hardee will be responsible for government relations and strategies and will lead Caterpillar’s Asia-Pacific external communications and other corporate initiatives.
Caterpillar spent more than $4 million on lobbying through the first two quarters of this year, a 52 percent increase year over year, according to CQ Roll Call’s Political MoneyLine. The company spent $4.9 million on lobbying in fiscal 2012.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.