Press Release

Karen Kuhlman Joins AAAE Federal Affairs Team

For Immediate Release
May 3, 2023

Alexandria, Va. – The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) today announced the addition of Karen Kuhlman to the Association’s Federal Affairs Department, where she will serve as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and help lead AAAE’s advocacy efforts. Kuhlman joins AAAE after a 17 year-career at United Airlines, the last seven of which were spent as Managing Director, Congressional Affairs.

“I have long been impressed with Karen’s ability to deliver results in Washington and am thrilled that she will be joining the talented AAAE team during such a critical time for airports,” AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli said. “The experience and expertise Karen has gained over the past two decades helping the industry navigate unprecedented challenges will be a boon to AAAE and airport executives as we work to advance airport priorities in FAA reauthorization legislation and beyond.”

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Democrat Rick Larsen (D-WA) noted that “I am excited for Karen’s new challenge. I have known her since 2001 when I worked with Rep Brad Carson and Karen worked transportation for him. She is honest, straightforward, and clear. I wish her success in her new role.”

“AAAE is one of the most highly regarded and effective organizations in Washington, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to help build on the association’s stellar record in achieving success for its members,” Kuhlman said. “I know first-hand the impact that airports have on communities across the country, and I am eager to go to work to help AAAE members advance their legislative and regulatory goals in the nation’s capital.”

During her tenure at United, Kuhlman was responsible for helping devise and execute the carrier’s legislative and advocacy goals. Among her many accomplishments, Kuhlman led United’s efforts to secure funding for the airline industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, secured corporate priorities in multiple FAA reauthorization bills, and worked with senior corporate leadership to develop advocacy strategy for key company business initiatives and priorities. Prior to serving at United, Kuhlman held positions for four members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kuhlman will begin her role with AAAE in mid-May.


ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world's largest professional organization representing the individuals who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 9,000 members represent over 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program. 

Joel D. Bacon
Executive Vice President, Government and Public Affairs

@ AAAEDelivers