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Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., will become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, Va., effective March 1. She will succeed long-time CEO Glenn English, who will retire.
She will be only the fifth CEO in the association's 70-year history. She is a past recipient of the NRECA Distinguished Service Award.
The announcement was made this week, only a month after Emerson was reelected to her 10th term in Congress. She said she will resign from the House in February. By law, Emerson can't directly lobby Congress for a year after she leaves office.
Like English, Emerson will go to NRECA after serving in Congress. She was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996, the first Republican woman to serve in the House from Missouri. She succeeded her husband Bill after his death.
She serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations, with oversight of the U.S. Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, and other government agencies, including Securities & Exchange Commission, Federal Communications Commission, General Services Administration and the Small Business Administration.
Earlier, she had executive roles in communications and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association.
According to Politico, NRECA is Emerson's largest all-time contributor, nearly $80,000 throughout her congressional career. This includes $8,000 from the NRECA PAC in this election cycle and $12,000 from the PAC and other NRECA people in 2010.
In addition to federal government work, she is co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and is a board member of the Congressional Hunger Center.
English has led NRECA for nearly 20 years. Before NRECA, he served 10 terms in Congress, representing Oklahoma’s 6th District. He was chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, and Rural Development beginning in 1989. He was a senior member of the Government Operation Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Information, Justice, and Agriculture from 1981 to 1989. During that period, the subcommittee monitored the Rural Electrification Administration, now the Rural Utilities Service. Details: www.nreca.org.