The International Air Transport Association has appointed Karen Clayton as its new corporate secretary, effective April 2019.
According to IATA, Clayton will ensure the integrity of the association’s governance framework, including management of the board of governors and its various committees. The IATA board of governors is elected by the association’s 290-strong membership and consists of CEOs from 31 airlines and IATA’s director general and CEO.
Clayton will replace Paul Steele, who is also senior vice president for member and external relations and will continue with that role. She joins IATA from Air New Zealand, where she has been general counsel and company secretary since 2016.
“In my time at Air New Zealand, I have experienced the importance of IATA’s global standards in driving innovation and making international air connectivity possible,” said Clayton. “By joining the IATA team next year I look forward to contributing to the value that IATA creates and supporting the needs of its members.”
As a member of IATA’s strategic leadership team, Clayton will also support Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO, with advice and input on IATA’s strategic plans and industry initiatives.
“Karen brings with her a wealth of experience that will ensure the continued effective management of IATA’s governance processes,” said de Juniac. “Moreover, her industry expertise, leadership on diversity and inclusion, and strategic boardroom experience will contribute to IATA’s overall success in fulfilling its mission to represent, lead and serve the global airline industry.”
Clayton was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1999 and began her career in legal firms in the UK and Australia. Before joining Air New Zealand, she moved into corporate practice and served as general counsel and company secretary of National Grid Plc, then general counsel at Mercury NZ Ltd, according to IATA.