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Glickman to Head MPAA

Former Kansas Congressman Dan Glickman has been hired as the new president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), succeeding Jack Valenti, who formally resigned after 38 years on the job.

Glickman will start on Sept. 1, 2004. Valenti has agreed to continue as CEO until then. The selection climaxed a four-and-a-half month executive search that considered other Washington DC politicos including Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and fellow Louisiana Sen. John Breaux (D). The job is considered one of the plum lobbying assignments on Capitol Hill; Valenti reportedly earns upwards of $1 million in annual salary.

Glickman's background doesn't suggest a close Hollywood connection. During his 18 years as a Democratic Congressman, he served on the House Judiciary Committee, where he also sat on the Copyright and Intellectual Property Subcommittee, which will serve him well as MPAA continues its war against copyright infringements.

In 1995, Glickman served as Secretary of Agriculture where he was deeply involved in negotiating international trade agreements. Since then, he has worked at Harvard University, teaching at the Kennedy School of Government.

"I am honored and inspired by the prospect of joining the MPAA," said Glickman. "I have long had a deep affection for the movie industry. My son, Jonathan, has his own successful career in Hollywood, which has allowed me to learn a good deal about this fascinating world. What enthuses me is the work of sustaining and enlarging MPAA's role in international cinema. As America's most wanted export, the American movie is also a great source of economic growth. I am eager to begin working closely with my new colleagues at MPAA, here and abroad, with the Congress, the federal government, state legislatures, with officials of nations on all the continents, as well as the global creative community."

Valenti praised Glickman as a long time friend, and "a demonstrated wise and decisive leader who in his roles as Secretary of Agriculture and as a member of Congress was able in his public career to construct a respectful rapport with both sides of the aisle. He will be a powerful, successful steward of the MPAA."