President and CEO
Craig Fuller became the President and CEO of AOPA on Jan. 1, 2009. He is only the fourth person to hold this position since AOPA was founded in 1939. He brings to this position a career that includes senior public affairs positions in business, association leadership, and executive positions in the federal government, including eight years of service in the White House from 1981 to 1989.
As AOPA president, Craig Fuller leads the largest and most influential aviation organization in the world. AOPA membership has grown to more than 416,000 – a number that represents more than two thirds of all certificated pilots in the United States. With a staff of more than 200 professionals and operations in two states and the District of Columbia, AOPA provides a wide variety of services to its members worldwide.
No stranger to politics and Capitol Hill, Fuller moves through the halls of Congress and the administration in Washington as often as he visits airports and pilots around the country. He is the chairman of AOPA’s Political Action Committee, an important role to ensure that elected officials who defend general aviation receive support from the pilot community. Additionally, he testifies and engages in other forums at the national and state level to represent the interests of general aviation.
In addition to the role of communicating to and on behalf of the membership, Fuller spends time reaching out to broader audiences who benefit from, but do not fully understand, the role general aviation plays in the lives of millions of Americans. Whether recruiting new pilots or just helping business leaders and others understand how general aviation works for them, Fuller is a vocal ambassador for the advantages of general aviation.
While most of the role of AOPA President involves work inside the United States, Fuller was elected president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, representing 66 national AOPA organizations with more than 470,000 pilot members around the world.
His responsibilities at AOPA include serving as the publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest and most influential aviation publication. He writes regularly for the magazine and contributes to AOPA’s growing presence in the blogosphere.
He serves as the president of the AOPA Foundation and travels throughout the country to build support for the foundation, which has the vital mission of enhancing the understanding of general aviation’s important role in today’s transportation system as well as supporting the critical work of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Panel: The Challenger Session