The World's Forum for Aerospace Leadership

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Public Policy Committee

AIAA’s Public Policy Committee (PPC) consists of five outcome-based working groups, each led by two co-chairs appointed by the Public Policy Chair. The working groups are responsible for developing the Institute’s annual key issues, organizing the annual Congressional Visits Day Program, providing policy-related inputs for the five annual forums, engaging local sections in various public policy activities, and arranging topical educational sessions for congressional staff.

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Working Group Scopes

Key Issue Development Working Group

Co-Chairs: Steve Dunn and Cristin Finnigan

The Key Issue Development Working Group, with input from various AIAA communities, individual members, and Washington Operations representatives, is responsible for identifying, consolidating, and focusing on the critical political issues that affect the aerospace sector as a whole. The key issues (KI) and their recommendations are divided into three pillars: Funding Stability and Competitiveness; R&D and Innovation; and Workforce Development and Enhancement. The working group will review and update these standard pillars and their recommendations annually. The PPC will consider and present them to the AIAA Board of Trustees for final approval.


The working group’s duties include:

  • Reviewing, editing, and updating the KIs
  • Identifying, collecting, vetting , and monitoring new KIs and ancillary issues
  • Identifying resources to develop supporting Information Papers
  • Assist (as needed) with editing Information Papers

Congressional Visits Day Program Working Group

Co-Chairs: Tim Dominick and Robert LaBranche

Every year at Congressional Visits Day (CVD), AIAA members – engineers, scientists, researchers, students, educators, and technology executives – travel to Washington, DC, to meet with national decision makers to discuss critical industry issues in civil aeronautics, civil astronautics, and defense. Through face-to-face meetings CVD raises awareness of the long-term economic and security value that aerospace brings to the United States. The CVD Program Working Group plans and conducts the entirety of the CVD experience, which includes:


  • Selecting and promoting the date for CVD
  • Recruiting state team captains, with the support of the Regional Deputy Directors for Public Policy
  • Training activities for the participants
  • Drafting outreach documents for dissemination to congressional staff
  • Establishing the agenda for the day
  • Facilitating follow-up activities with congressional offices


Forum Integration Working Group

Co-Chairs: Sandy Coleman and Justin Kugler

The Forum Integration Working Group is responsible for ensuring that AIAA messages, themes, and key issues relating to public policy are most effectively integrated into the annual forums. The co-chairs collaborates with each Forum Organizing Committee to:


  • Recommend and recruit relevant speakers
  • Invite relevant policy experts and/or policymakers as forum participants
  • Design Forum 360 sessions that incorporate public policy thought leadership
  • Highlight ongoing public policy activities outside the forums

Grassroots Engagement Working Group

Co-Chairs: Amy Hudnall and Theo Spanos

The Grassroots Engagement Working Group is responsible for enhancing and expanding AIAA’s public policy activities to the state and local levels. To do so, the working group:


  • Leads/assists the planning of events to engage and educate members of Congress during the congressional recess to enhance national efforts
  • Leads/assists the planning of events to engage and educate state and local decision makers about the importance of the aerospace industry
  • Assists the Regional Deputy Directors in engaging more AIAA members in public policy activities

Specifically, the working group helps strengthen local section public policy activities by:


  • Identifying state coordinators for those states with multiple AIAA sections
  • Organizing and promoting the “August is for Aerospace” Program, and assisting sections with engaging their elected officials during district work periods
  • Partnering with other aerospace stakeholders to hold state aerospace events to connect local AIAA members with their local leaders
  • Supporting other section-developed events
  • Gathering best practices from the sections and provide “how to” resource materials to help the sections grow local public policy activities
  • Providing access to national and state-level aerospace industry data


Hill Forums Working Group

Co-Chairs: Phil Hattis and Padraig Moloney

The Hill Forums Working Group will utilize forums on Capitol Hill to educate elected officials, their staff, and other stakeholders about the breadth of the aerospace profession and what it accomplishes, as well as to place attention on issues important to sustaining progress and advances in the profession that serve national interests. Among the paths for the working group’s outreach are:


  • Topical forums for policymakers and their staff, including overview of the national roles of aerospace (for newly elected officials), and timely background briefings regarding select aerospace issues that tie to pending legislative action or relate to critical issues needing legislative action
  • Seminars and roundtables that engage, educate, and solicit viewpoints
  • In-person outreach activities that enable direct interaction and dialogue