Senior Manager of Public Policy
If you asked Jillian Irvin what her most significant professional accomplishment was, she would tell you “normalizing hitchhiking.” At a time when no one had heard of the ride-sharing company, Uber, Irvin spent countless hours lobbying to get it legalized in the state of Maryland. She was told by lobbyists and elected officials that the “concept was dangerous” and that “the gig economy would never work in a democratic state like Maryland.”
Despite the cold welcome, Irvin spearheaded the passage of model ride-share legislation that was ultimately replicated in states across the country. Her education efforts garnered more co-sponsors and passed by a wider margin than any other bill in Uber’s history. Her strategy now serves as a companywide best practice model.
“Several million Uber rides later, I can only hope that our efforts helped make the choice not to drive drunk or impaired in Maryland a little easier. However, I know for sure that I haven’t heard Uber associated with hitchhiking since,” said Irvin.
Now as the senior public policy manager for Amazon, Irvin successfully lobbied for protections as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for the more than 30,000 Amazon employees in Maryland. As a result, Amazon’s on-site COVID-19 testing sites were approved, MTA bus schedules were coordinated to ensure employees who relied on public transportation were able to get to work and vaccination sites were set up at all of their fulfillment centers for employees and their families. She also organized donations of PPE from Maryland’s Amazon fulfillment centers to hospitals and community centers.
Irvin was also instrumental in the passage of personal delivery device legislation, which Maryland Sen. Brian J. Feldman said “puts Maryland in the forefront of a growing trend to allow small, environmentally friendly, autonomous vehicles to use sidewalks for last-mile deliveries.”