Company: Airlines for America
Position: Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Location: Washington, DC

Description: The Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary will function as a key member of the senior leadership team and will report to the President and CEO. S/he will be responsible for ensuring that A4A operates in compliance with applicable federal, local, and international laws; providing high-quality analysis of legal, regulatory, and policy initiatives affecting member airlines and developing recommendations for industry response or positions; developing positive relationships with counterparts at key federal agencies in support of advocacy priorities; proactively advocating industry positions before federal, state and local bodies; and litigating to uphold member rights under federal, international, and state law. The ability to blend into a high functioning senior leadership team will be a critical factor in choosing a candidate.

S/he will participate in the formulation of proactive initiatives to address the developing needs of the members, and advance the organization’s mission, goals, and vision. S/he will effectively lead a high-performing and collaborative legal team, ensuring their accountability to the strategic goals of A4A.

Specifically, the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary is responsible for:

  • Legal and Corporate Governance. Provide substantive analysis and counsel to the President and CEO, senior management and Board of Directors (Board) on a variety of legal, regulatory, and policy issues. Oversee A4A’s legal activities and coordinate regulatory compliance to ensure projects and activities are conducted in accordance with applicable federal, state, and international laws and regulations.
  • Staff Leadership. Lead, mentor, empower, and develop a cohesive, collaborative legal team that is closely aligned with the overall goals of the organization and needs of its members. Lead and foster a climate of cross-collaboration with other organizational departments. Educate staff about compliance requirements regarding lobbying ethics rules and campaign finance rules. Empower staff to provide effective legal and regulatory services to internal clients and members.
  • External Affairs. Develop and maintain positive relationships with key agency legal and regulatory officials. Also develop and maintain positive relationships with A4A-member general counsels and their teams, and effectively manage the A4A Law Council and related Committees so that these are aligned and a proactive part of achieving the association’s strategic objectives. Develop persuasive regulatory filings, letters, and other advocacy documents and manage complex litigation on issues impacting the industry and members. Maintain a strong understanding of the trends that impact the industry and proactively address these matters.
  • Spokesperson. Serve as spokesperson for A4A on legal matters as necessary. Effectively communicate the organization’s positions and interests to the Law Council to ensure consensus and alignment around A4A policy, legal and regulatory activities. Promote A4A policy positions within the aviation legal and professional community.
  • Board Relations. Build and maintain strong collaborative relationships with the Board. Ensure adherence to corporate governance structure and A4A bylaws. Brief Board on antitrust issues and other matters affecting the Board.
  • Strategic Direction. Translate strategic priorities into operational reality; align communication, accountabilities, resource capabilities, internal processes, and ongoing measurement systems to ensure that strategic priorities yield measurable and sustainable results.
  • Consultant Management. Manage relationships with external counsel to ensure effective use of organizational resources.

Contact: Becky Graham, Senior Associate, Nonprofit Practice, (703) 761-7021,

Qualifications: A4A is seeking candidates of high ethical integrity with the relevant experience, background and leadership competencies to build credibility across the organization, while analyzing and shaping issues as they emerge for the airline industry and the organization’s members. The preferred candidate will possess relevant substantive capabilities and functional experience, including experience managing complex litigation and/or policy matters. S/he will have experience and personality characteristics to be a key member of a collaborative leadership team and the ability to provide valuable input and support for the strategic direction of A4A. A4A is seeking a candidate with a reputation for being effective at anticipating and understanding key trends that will impact the industry, and proactively leading initiatives to address them.

Specific experience and qualifications will include:

  • Minimum 12 years of law firm, corporate, association and/or Hill experience.
  • Understanding of antitrust laws applicable to association environment, and administrative law principles, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the federal rulemaking process.
  • Capability to understand relevant airline laws, regulations and treaties is highly desirable.
  • Experience attracting, developing, motivating and retaining strong talent, and building and managing a high-performing collaborative team in a results-oriented and fast-paced environment.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, key to forging and sustaining trusting relationships with A4A staff members, government officials, outside counsel and other key stakeholders.
  • Excellent communications skills. Produces concise written legal and policy arguments, with ability to verbally articulate these legal arguments clearly and persuasively.

An undergraduate degree and Juris Doctorate from well-respected institutions are required. Member in good standing in at least one state bar is highly desirable.

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