Retailer lobbyist to take charge at hotel trade group

Lugar, who is executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, will take charge of the hospitality trade group on April 17. Lugar will take over the top spot from Joe McInerney, who announced last year that he was stepping down.

The senior position at the hotel business group was one of the top jobs that was up for grabs on K Street. Further, the trade association will be involved in the lobbying battle on Capitol Hill over immigration reform this year.

“I’m thrilled to join AH&LA at this important junction in the association’s history,” Lugar said in a statement. “The association has decided to work more closely than ever with its members and to focus on advocacy in Washington. That will require some changes and many fresh ideas. I’m eager to get to work with the association’s members and its many friends in the nation’s capital.”

Christopher Nassetta, president and chief executive of Hilton Worldwide, said Lugar will be a capable representative for hotels in Washington.

“The hotel industry is experiencing strong growth and contributing substantially to the U.S. economy by opening hundreds of hotels and providing thousands of new jobs,” Nassetta said in a statement. “Katherine’s extensive experience with advocacy and public affairs will contribute to this expansion and allow us to build on our success in the future.”