AAR taps Arnakis for government affairs post

Written by William Vantuono, editor-in-chief, Railway Age
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has named Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation under Chairman John Thune (R-S.Dak.) as senior vice president of government affairs, effective in November.

Arnakis will replace Ian Jefferies as he transitions into his new role as the AAR’s next President and CEO.

“Arnakis brings to her new role more than 13 years of Senate experience, where she established herself as a policy leader and trusted advisor on transportation and infrastructure issues,” AAR said in announcing her appointment. “She oversaw operation of one of the Senate’s most productive, bipartisan committees, which during her tenure secured the enactment of more than 50 laws, most recently the five-year FAA Reauthorization. Prior to this, Arnakis served as the committee’s counsel and policy director of surface transportation and oceans from 2013-2015, where she led the team that wrote, negotiated and secured enactment of the bipartisan Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Additionally, Arnakis served as a key aide on aviation issues for the Senate Commerce Committee as well as legislative counsel in Sen. Thune’s personal office.”

“Adrian’s command of rail issues and proven record of legislative accomplishments makes her the ideal voice to lead the industry’s government affairs efforts here in Washington,” said Jefferies. “At the Senate Commerce Committee, she built bipartisan consensus to advance commonsense, forward-looking policies like the 2015 FAST Act and the 2015 Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization. AAR and the rail industry will benefit immensely from her strategic guidance and expertise, and I look forward to her joining our team.”

Arnakis earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.

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