Col. Peter “Pete” Bunce, a career Air Force officer who has been serving as director of the Air Force congressional budget and appropriations liaison, will become president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) on April 1. He replaces Ed Bolen, who left the association last summer to take over as NBAA president and CEO.
Bunce served with the F-15 Squadron Command tasked with fielding and first operational use of fighter datalink and commanded more than 2,200 airmen flying A-10s and specialized C-130s. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and holds FAA commercial, multi-engine and instrument ratings.
“Pete is going to be an outstanding leader for our association and indeed the aviation industry,” said Jim Schuster, chairman of GAMA’s board of directors. “A long-time pilot with international experience, Pete thoroughly understands airplane, airport, airspace and operational issues. He also brings a significant amount of congressional relations expertise that GAMA can immediately put to work on general aviation issues.”
As Air Force liaison attached to the Pentagon, Bunce worked closely with staff and members of the House and Senate. He also spent five years as the Department of Defense representative on the International Council of Air Shows’ board of directors and safety committee.
Bunce, 47, entered the Air Force in 1979 after graduating from the academy. He received his master’s degree in international affairs from Troy State University in 1988 and was an International Affairs Fellow at Harvard University in 1996 and 1997. He has more than 3,000 hours in fighter and training aircraft.
In his capacity as liaison officer, Bunce was the focal point on Capitol Hill for Air Force matters associated with the annual defense appropriations bills. Through daily contact with members of Congress and congressional staff, he advised senior Air Force leaders on committee actions and pending legislation. Additionally, his office plans and executes worldwide fact-finding missions for members of Congress and their staffs.