- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2007

The nation’s largest airline lobby has created a post to deal with the turbulence produced by Washington’s superheated debate on climate change.

Nancy Young last week assumed the newly created job as vice president of environmental affairs for the Air Transport Association, a D.C. trade group that represents most major airlines.

“We made the determination that we would create a division that is well-staffed and solely responsible for all of the environmental-related issues that affect our business,” said James May, ATA’s president and chief executive officer.

Ms. Young, 42, will work as an intermediary between airlines and their business partners to look for environmentally viable solutions for the airline industry. Big issues include reducing aircraft noise and emissions and working with energy companies to develop environmentally friendly alternative fuels.

She also will represent the ATA before national and international government bodies, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. agency in charge of establishing noise and emissions standards for aircraft.

Ms. Young predicts challenges from working with so many different types of businesses.

“When you work at an association, you are working with various members who may have many different good ideas,” she said. “The challenge is to work with members who may have different business views and help them find a consensus.”

Ms. Young said she is excited to be on the front lines at such a critical time on environmental issues, and that pressure on the airline industry is likely to increase as the global warming debate intensifies.

“I grew up in the environmental era, so it’s certainly been a very personal interest of mine to pursue,” Ms. Young said.

Ms. Young recently moved to Chevy Chase from Kansas City, Mo., where she was a partner in the law firm Beveridge & Diamond PC. She worked with the ATA as an assistant general counsel for environmental programs in 2000 and was promoted to associate general counsel in 2004.

She graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1986 with a bachelor of arts degree and received her law degree from Harvard University in 1990.

“She is a brilliant lawyer and is steeped in the business of the environment, having worked in this area for a great number of years,” Mr. May said.

Melanie Hicken

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