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AAFA Names Juanita D. Duggan New CEO

Experienced lobbyist will take the helm on July 1.

WASHINGTON — The American Apparel & Footwear Association on Friday named veteran lobbyist Juanita D. Duggan president and chief executive officer.

This story first appeared in the June 9, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Duggan, who will take the helm of the AAFA on July 1, was most recently policy director at Washington lobbying firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck LLP, where she handled a diverse set of clients, including retailers. She also brings to the job more than 25 years of experience on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

Duggan succeeds Kevin Burke, who left the association in January after 13 years to become president and ceo of the Airports Council International — North America.

“Juanita has demonstrated time and again her relentlessness and dedication to succeed for her clients,” said Rick Helfenbein, chairman of AAFA and president of Luen Thai USA. “Her ability to lead organizations, develop coalitions and successfully manage complex lobbying efforts and public affairs campaigns is quite impressive.”

Duggan said, “This is a great opportunity to up the association’s game in an era of fast-paced change in the industry and the policy world. The apparel and footwear industry is a key driver of economic growth in the U.S. and globally. I can’t wait to tell their story.”

Duggan was special assistant for cabinet affairs to President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1990 and also assistant for domestic policy and public liaison to President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989.

She will lead AAFA during a resurgence in Made in the USA. She will also lead the AAFA at a time when brands are seeking to diversify and expand their global sourcing.

One key priority for the AAFA has been the ongoing negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact between the U.S. and 11 other countries that has significant ramifications for the industry. Vietnam, the second-largest apparel supplier to the U.S., is taking part in the talks on TPP, which is said to hold potential for importers and pitfalls for domestic textile makers.