Premier U.S. airline appoints Indian-American to senior position


An Indian-American has been chosen as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at American Airlines.

Priya Aiyar, a former Obama administration official, was named senior vp and general counsel at American Airlines, the company announced Aug. 5, 2019. Photo: American Airlines

Priya Aiyar, a former Obama administration official, succeeds Paul Jones, who retired from American earlier this year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Priya to American Airlines,” American’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Steve Johnson is quoted saying in a press release Aug. 5. “Priya is an outstanding lawyer and an extraordinary intellect, and her strategic perspective, integrity, energy, unique experience, passion for the law, and demonstrated ability to build and inspire teams make her the perfect person to lead our legal strategy and team over the coming years,” Johnson added.

Aiyar, a graduate of Yale Law School, with degrees from Oxford University and Harvard, worked in senior positions at several U.S. government agencies. She was Legal Advisor to the Chairman at the Federal Communications, Deputy Chief Counsel at the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon OIl Spill and Offshore Drilling; Deputy General Counsel for Environment and Nuclear Programs at the Department of Energy, and worked from 2013 to 2017 at the U.S. Treasury, first as Deputy General Counsel and then as Acting General Counsel.

In her role at American, Aiyar will lead the Legal Affairs team and its legal strategies, a press release from the airline said. This includes the company’s corporate governance, securities and corporate finance, business and commercial, litigation, competition and antitrust, compliance, privacy, environmental, employment, and intellectual property legal issues and work.

Aiyar joins American from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she has been a partner, and brings more than 18 years of government and private sector experience, American noted in the press release.

She began her legal career as a clerk to Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.

American Airlines is among the top carriers in the country with 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries, employs 130,000 staff globally and serves some 200 million customers the company said. The airline was recently named a Five Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and Airline of the Year by Air Transport World.




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