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New Government Relations Director Joins Advocacy Team in Florida

On June 27, Rivers H. Buford, III joined the American Heart Association as the Florida Government Relations Director. As a heart disease survivor, he looks forward to using his lobbying skills to impact cardiovascular diseases and stroke.


Rivers most recently served for three years as Director of Governmental Affairs with the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Previously, he served Florida’s Senate President for two years as Policy Advisor and Staff Director for two Senate Committees (Agriculture and Transportation). He joined the Florida Department of State in 2001 as Director of Legislative Affairs, where he served for 10 years through eight Secretaries and ended his tenure as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs.

While at the Department of State, he handled all legislative-related issues for the Divisions of: Corporations, Elections, Libraries, Cultural Affairs and Historical Resources, as well as the Division of Licensing prior to its transfer to another state agency. He was also the Emergency Coordinating Officer for the department and responded to all events when the State Emergency Operations Center was activated, serving as a part of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). He is a graduate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Institute and is certified in ISO 100, 200, 300, 400, 600, 700, 800 procedures which attest to an increasing expertise in emergency management.  Additionally, he is a Certified Credit Union Director (CCD). 

Rivers began his Florida lobbying career with the Florida Trucking Association (FTA) in 1996 and has always held significant duties in addition to his main position. At the trucking association, he turned around their membership periodical from losing $3,000/month to making nearly $4,000/month.

Prior to being a team member at the FTA, Rivers worked with six different states on writing legislation allowing pharmacies to submit the first electronic Medicaid patient prescriptions for pharmacy reimbursement while in the FoxMeyer and later McKesson Drug organizations.


Please join us in welcoming Rivers to the American Heart Association!

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