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United lands Exxon Mobil's top lobbyist to lead Washington office

United lands Exxon Mobil's top lobbyist to lead Washington office
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United Airlines has hired Terri Fariello, Exxon Mobil Corp.’s top lobbyist, to lead its own advocacy shop, the company announced on Thursday

The airline has been searching for someone to lead its Washington office for nearly two years. Fariello officially joins on Aug. 14, a release says.

“In addition to her vast experience working with all levels of government in a variety of settings, Terri brings deep expertise from another highly regulated industry,” said Brett Hart, United's executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel. 

Fariello has been with Exxon since 2001, leading its D.C. office and managing the oil giant’s state and federal advocacy programs.

The appointment comes at a time with some turbulence in the airline industry, as U.S. carriers are in a lobbying battle with Gulf airlines over a free-trade agreement brokered by the State Department.

Fariello’s former top boss, Rex Tillerson, now serves as the State Department’s secretary. 

Her resume includes working at the Energy Department and Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and she began her Washington career as an aide on Capitol Hill. 

"Terri has established a sterling reputation at the highest levels of government and industry over the course of her impressive career," United chief executive Oscar Munoz said in a statement. "Her breadth of experience and depth of knowledge in working in these key areas of government and the intersection of the private and public sector will make her an invaluable asset to the United family. We are proud to have her aboard."

Earlier this year, United was among the airlines that came under fire for some of its business practices — putting a spotlight on climbing fees and policies that include overbooking flights in the industry, gaining the attention of Capitol Hill.

Congress held hearings scolding executives and threatening legislation if conditions did not improve.

United’s former top lobbyist, Mark Anderson, was among the senior officials who stepped down in September 2015 after being caught up in a favor-trading scandal involving the company and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

There are still two other major U.S. carriers looking to land a new top lobbyist, American Airlines and Delta.