FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2015
WASHINGTON – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) today announced Annie Russo has been promoted to Vice President of Government and Political Affairs following news that Senior Vice President of Government and Political Affairs George Kelemen was named President and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association. Kelemen and his family will be returning to Texas in November.
“George has been a tremendous advocate for North American airports, and his political expertise has helped position our industry to achieve success in our FAA reauthorization effort,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “I know he will bring the same level of effectiveness and accomplishment to his new position. I congratulate George on this exciting step in his career.”
“While saddened about George’s departure in October, I am very excited to announce that Annie Russo has been promoted to Vice President of Government and Political Affairs,” Burke said. “Annie’s command of airport issues equals her understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes. Her expertise, vast experience, energy, and leadership will serve ACI-NA members well as we advance airport priorities, including our FAA reauthorization goals.”
In her new role, Russo will develop and lead ACI-NA’s advocacy strategies on the many pressing legislative challenges facing the industry. Russo joined ACI-NA in 2008 and previously served as Managing Director, Government and Political Affairs. She monitored congressional actions and worked primarily with the House of Representatives regarding the broad scope of issues affecting member airports and the greater aviation industry, including transportation appropriations and tax policies.
Prior to ACI-NA, Russo served as Legislative Director for Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), directing legislative policy and handling the congressman’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Financial Services Committee assignments. Before joining Rep. Sires’ staff, she served as Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Steven Rothman (D-NJ), assisting with his work on the Transportation Subcommittee of Appropriations and working closely with local airports on issues surrounding safety, noise reduction and airspace redesign. Russo spent her first three years on Capitol Hill working for Rep. John Olver (D-MA). Russo is a graduate of Smith College, with a degree in government and public policy, and also holds a master’s degree in national security studies from the Naval War College.
To maximize this opportunity to strengthen ACI-NA’s organizational structure to attain airport political and policy goals, Greg Cota has also been elevated to Senior Director of Government and Political Affairs. Nathan Pick will continue in an enhanced position as Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs.