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White House Liaison to Congress Goes Back to Lobbying

One of President Barack Obama’s top liaisons to Congress is leaving the White House to lobby for the Air Transport Association, according to a statement released Tuesday by the industry group.

Sean Kennedy, a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, will become the trade association’s new senior vice president of global government affairs effective July 15.

He led the Obama administration’s work with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which will come in handy as the ATA continues to push for the long-stalled Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.

Kennedy’s résumé reaches both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and includes a prior stint on K Street. He served as chief of staff to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) from 2007 to 2009, as a lobbyist for AT&T before that and as a deputy policy director for the failed 2004 presidential campaign of former Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.).

“Sean is a recognized leader who is known for thoughtfully managing tough issues in close cooperation with both Republicans and Democrats,” Nicholas Calio, ATA’s president and CEO, said in the statement. Calio is also a former White House Congressional liaison, having led President George W. Bush’s legislative affairs operation.