Joseph Okpaku (oh-PAH-koo) is the Vice President of Government Relations at Lyft. Joseph oversees a team of over 30 people that has helped to create and implement, in less than four years, a nationwide legislative and regulatory framework for the ridesharing industry, including legislation in over 40 states and numerous municipalities. The Lyft Government Relations team has also been a leader in helping shape the creation of autonomous vehicle policy with a focus on the key role that ridesharing will play in the testing, deployment and adoption of AV technology. Joseph has testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection about the role that ridesharing has to play in the coming autonomous vehicle revolution.
Prior to joining Lyft’s Government Relations team, Joseph served as Chief of Staff for Councilmember Ash Kalra in San Jose, CA. During his tenure with Councilmember Kalra, Joseph advised on all policy matters, including the development and implementation of a first-of-its-kind land use ordinance limiting the growth of payday lending businesses, and an ordinance banning smoking in outdoor dining areas. Joseph also advised on political strategy, oversaw media communications, and coordinated the response to all constituent concerns.
Joseph, a native New Yorker, also worked for the Division of Enforcement of the New York Stock Exchange’s Regulation Department for six years, where he investigated large-scale trading violations by member firms. Joseph also spent over four years working as an Assistant District Attorney with a specialization in prosecuting domestic violence crimes in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office under Robert Morgenthau.