The American Hotel & Lodging Association appoints Maryam Cope and Craig Kalkut as vice presidents of governmental affairs

New hires bring valuable congressional, association, and policy experience to new roles

Washington, DC, 2014-03-25 — /Travel PR News/ — The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, announces the appointment of Maryam Cope and Craig Kalkut as vice presidents of governmental affairs. Kalkut joins the association today, with Cope following on April 14.

Cope will support the association’s increased advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and with the Administration, where she will be managing technology and data security issues. She comes to AH&LA from her most recent role as director of government relations for the Information Technology Industry Council, representing major technology companies such as Apple, IBM, Intel, and Google, where she was responsible for directing advocacy efforts in the areas of cybersecurity and cloud computing. Previously, she served as principal of The Cope Group, a reputation management and brand identity consulting firm providing services to Fortune 500 clients. Cope also was a professional staffer in the United States Senate, working for former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) and the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation where she focused on internet policy, cybersecurity, emerging technologies, and telecommunications.

Kalkut will lead AH&LA’s efforts in the areas of travel promotion, tax, and enterprise issues such as terrorism risk insurance and patent reform. He joins the association after nearly eight years in the United States Senate, most recently as chief counsel for Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. In this position, he focused on intellectual property, immigration, and bankruptcy issues, as well as advising Senator Klobuchar on tourism and travel promotion policy. Kalkut previously served as counsel and banking and financial affairs analyst for former Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and the Senate Budget Committee, and formerly was counsel and legislative assistant in Conrad’s personal office. Kalkut has a law degree from Harvard University.

“Maryam and Craig bring tremendous expertise, strong relationships and outstanding talent to AH&LA,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “Our members have identified policy issues around technology and distribution as well as travel and tourism as top priorities in 2014. Our members will quickly benefit from the increased focus and strong leadership both bring to these key issues. They will be instrumental in continuing to elevate the industry’s message and reinforce to policymakers the impact their decisions have on the ability of hoteliers to grow, create jobs, and vitalize the national economy.”

Today’s announcement comes just prior to AH&LA’s 17th annual Legislative Action Summit (LAS), April 1-2 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. Over the two-day conference, hundreds of hotel owners, senior executives of corporate brands, management companies, independent hoteliers, and general managers will engage in important policy discussions with their industry peers and colleagues, as well as share the industry’s narrative as a key cog of the national economy with lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol.

For more information on AH&LA and LAS, visit

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Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.