The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has chosen prominent Washington lobbyist Nicholas Calio to replace James May as its president and CEO, effective January 1.
Calio currently leads global government affairs for Citigroup in the U.S. and in the more than 100 countries where the company does business. A member of Citi’s senior leadership committee, Calio joined Citigroup in 2003 after serving as chief liaison to the U.S. Congress for former President George W. Bush. He held the same position under former President George H.W. Bush.
May, whose contract with the ATA runs out in January, joined the association in February 2003 and led it through some of the most trying times in the history of the industry. Before joining ATA, May served as executive vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters, vice president of public affairs for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, head of government relations for PepsiCo and vice president of public affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America. As a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, May commanded an infantry company in Vietnam.
“We thank Jim for his tireless leadership and commitment during some of the most difficult years this industry has ever faced,” said Glenn Tilton, chairman of ATA and chairman of the board of United Continental Holdings. “Jim’s efforts over the past eight years on behalf of the industry have been many and are much appreciated. We wish him well in the future.”
A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Calio, 57, will lead the ATA’s efforts to improve U.S. airlines’ access to international markets, increase federal investment in air traffic infrastructure and reduce taxation and regulation.
“We are delighted that Nick is joining ATA at such an important time for our industry, when a strong, viable aviation system will be critical to the economic recovery and global competitiveness of our country,” said Tilton. “A recognized leader in Washington and other world capitals, Nick has a record of success in managing complex issues and working collaboratively with people at the highest levels, both in the private and public sectors. His leadership skills and reputation for integrity on both sides of the aisle make him uniquely suited to head ATA.”