Merlis Leaves ATA

Washington, April 28, 2003 - The Air Transport Association (ATA) today announced that Senior Vice President for Legislative and International Affairs Edward Merlis is leaving the airline trade association to join the Washington-based public affairs firm, Xenophon Strategies. In his new position, Merlis will be responsible for firm-wide strategic direction, business development and providing senior counsel to clients.
“Ed Merlis has been a key player in every industry-wide initiative the airline industry has undertaken for the past thirteen years,” said ATA CEO and President James May. “His work for the airline industry has had real impact and he will be missed. Everyone at ATA and the nation’s airlines owes Ed an enormous thank you.”
During his tenure at ATA, Merlis executed federal, state, local and international government affairs programs, including legislative, regulatory and community lobbying initiatives. He managed the association’s Government Affairs, International Affairs, Airports and e-Business departments as well as the industry’s energy and communications spectrum management activities. He also supervised the operations of more than 40 industry-owned fuel farms located at major airports.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at ATA a great deal,” said Merlis. “But it is time to move on to new challenges and new tasks. I wish Jim May and all of my colleagues at ATA every success in the future and look forward to continuing my ATA association while at Xenophon.”
Previous to ATA, Merlis worked for nine years on the staffs of several committees of the United States Senate, including serving as staff director of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during committee consideration of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. is the trade association for leading U.S. airlines. ATA members transport 95 percent of all passenger and cargo traffic in the United States.