WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2012 - Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., announced today that she will resign from Congress March 1 to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the trade association of cooperative and consumer-owned utilities. She will succeed Glenn English, who announced his intention to retire in December 2011 after 19 years.
“Her background as a Member of Congress and a trade association executive – coupled with her extensive knowledge of the issues facing electric cooperatives and rural America – make Jo Ann eminently qualified to lead NRECA and represent the interests of our members,” said NRECA Board President Mike Guidry. “The respect she has from both sides of the aisle and her proven ability to bridge political and policy divides and find common ground will serve NRECA well.”
Emerson was elected to the House in 1996 from
Emerson also serves as co-chair of the Tuesday Group, is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and holds a position on the board of the Congressional Hunger Center. She had communications and government affairs positions with the National Restaurant Association and the American Insurance Association before being elected to the first of nine terms in Congress.
NRECA gave her its Distinguished Service Award for work on
energy issues. “Energy has a direct relationship with the vitality of rural
NRECA, based in
Emerson will take over one of the most influential rural-based organizations, with a lobbying budget that has been greater than $5 million in some years (in 2008 and 2009, about $2 million this year) and a political action committee that spent $2.96 million during the 2012 campaign.She will be the fifth person and the fourth former Member of Congress to head the association. Its earliest president was Clyde T. Ellis, a House member from Arkansas. Others were former Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, once a congressman from Minnesota, and English, the Oklahoma member who, like Emerson, resigned from the House shortly after re-election.
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