Director, State Government Relations
Donna Gehlhaart is the director of state government relations in International Paper’s Washington D.C. government relations office. Gehlhaart leads the team of five regional government relations managers who represent International Paper’s interests throughout the country on state legislative strategy and advocacy on all International Paper priority business issues.
Prior to her becoming the director of state government relations, Gehlhaart was a Washington, D.C. representative, covering forestry and natural resources issues. Gehlhaart joined International Paper in 1996 to work as a regional public affairs manager in Harrisburg, Pa.
Before joining International Paper, Gehlhaart was the manager of federal legislative affairs for Minnesota Power in Washington, D.C. and also worked for a year as a loaned executive from Minnesota Power to the electric utilities trade association, the Edison Electric Institute.
Gehlhaart serves on the board of directors and is Immediate Past President of the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC) which is the premier national association for multi-state government affairs professionals. Gehlhaart also represents International Paper on various technical committees as a private sector member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and The Council of State Governments (CSG).
Gehlhaart received her Bachelor of Science degree in forest management from the University of Minnesota, which she attended on the GI bill after serving in the U.S. Army for three years.