The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA) named Sean Kennedy, who currently serves President Obama as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, as its Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs.
Kennedy will be a key member of the ATA leadership team, increasing the advocacy reach of the trade organization for leading U.S. airlines. He will join ATA on July 15.
“Airlines today drive $1.2 trillion in economic activity and more than 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and are responsible for 11 million jobs. We can do even more with a regulatory and legislative environment that enables airlines to be consistently profitable so they can invest in their product, further drive the economy and grow jobs,” said ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Sean is a recognized leader who is known for thoughtfully managing tough issues in close cooperation with both Republicans and Democrats. We look forward to his leadership in government affairs as we address the policy challenges and opportunities that face this industry, which is so vital to our economy.”
As one of President Obama’s top lobbyists in Congress, Kennedy has been the lead White House liaison to the Senate Commerce Committee and has also guided the administration’s executive branch nominees through the confirmation process. Both at the White House – and earlier as a congressional aide – Kennedy specialized in working with moderate Democrats and Republicans to form coalitions, a skill that will prove critical in his new role.
Prior to joining the White House, Kennedy served as Chief of Staff to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo). He previously worked as Assistant Vice President, Federal Relations with AT&T, and also served as legislative director for then-House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend almost 15 years working with tremendous leaders in the House of Representatives, the Senate and, of course, the White House,” Kennedy said. “I look forward to working with Nick Calio, the ATA team and our members to enhance industry efforts to be more globally competitive, create jobs and continue to grow the economy at a greater level.”Kennedy, who is a lawyer, is a graduate of Emory University and the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.