AAR Names Arnakis Senior VP Government Affairs

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has announced that Adrian Arnakis will serve as senior vice president of government affairs, effective in November when Ian Jefferies transitions to the role of AAR president and CEO.

Arnakis has more than 13 years of experience serving in the Senate, where she was a senior aide on transportation and infrastructure issues.

Since 2016, she served as deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation under Chairman John Thule. During her tenure, the committee secured the enactment of more than 50 laws – most recently the 5-year FAA Reauthorization.

Prior to this position, Arnakis served as the committee’s counsel and policy director of surface transportation and oceans from 2013-2015, leading the team that wrote, negotiated and secured enactment of the bipartisan Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. She also was an aide on aviation issues for the Senate Commerce Committee as well as legislative counsel in Senator Thune’s personal office.

“Adriana’s command of rail issues and proven record of legislative accomplishments makes her the ideal voice to lead the industry’s government affairs efforts here in Washington,” said Jefferies. “At the Senate Commerce Committee, she built bipartisan consensus to advance commonsense, forward-looking policies like the 2015 FAST Act and the 2015 Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization. AAR and the rail industry will benefit immensely from her strategic guidance and expertise, and I look forward to her joining our team.”

Arnakis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.