Komal “Komie” Jain, ISRI’s senior vice president of advocacy, policy, and regulation, is responsible for overall leadership, strategic direction, and management of ISRI’s advocacy, policy, and regulatory efforts. This includes developing and implementing of an integrated strategy across state, federal, and international levels to advance ISRI’s advocacy agenda and priorities. She guides the ISRI advocacy team and reports to ISRI President Robin Wiener. Jain recently took time to answer some questions from Scrap News to introduce herself to ISRI members.

Tell us about your background.

I earned an undergraduate business degree (finance and economics) from James Madison University and upon graduation I immediately attended law school. I was fortunate to have a full academic scholarship to the University of Richmond’s school of law, so Go Spiders!

My career began at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., consulting on environmental issues related to land management, waste disposal, and community right-to-know. After a couple of years, I moved to private practice with Keller and Heckman LLP. In part because we wanted to start a family and I needed a better balance of life, I joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Enforcement Division. Immediately following 9/11, I was asked to move to the Office of Chief Counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration to address national security, among other issues.

Concurrently during my time in federal government, I also served as vice-chairperson on the State Water Control Board of Virginia.

After eight years as a public servant, I returned to Keller and Heckman. Again, private practice did not provide the work-life balance I wanted with my young family, so several years later I made my official entrée into trade association counseling and management, building on my years of experience as an attorney for many trade groups. Most recently, I served as the executive director of the American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) where I was fully responsible for CBC’s advocacy agenda, strategic growth member services, and revenue.

What made you apply for a job with ISRI?

I am passionate about environmental protection and conservation, and I believe that recycling is critical. When presented with the opportunity to join ISRI, I jumped on it because the position of senior vice president of advocacy, policy, and regulation is a perfect culmination of all my previous work, plus it feeds my personal passions.

What do you look forward to the most at ISRI?

There is so much happening at ISRI and in the recycling industry. I am just beginning to appreciate the issues and opportunities for recycling, and I look forward to making a meaningful difference in advancing recycling with effective legislation, regulation, and policy. Most immediately, I look forward to getting to know my ISRI colleagues and members better.


Primary photo of U.S. Capitol rotunda is public domain. Body photo courtesy of ISRI.