Former senator Dodd to lead Motion Picture Association

Tue Mar 1, 2011 2:36pm EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former senator Christopher Dodd, a veteran Democrat who spent his last years in the Senate pushing through a major financial reform law, will become the new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Dodd, a failed presidential candidate who finished five terms as a senator in January, will take up his role as the high-profile head lobbyist of the MPAA on March 17, the organization said on Tuesday in a statement.

The MPAA represents Hollywood's major film and television studios in government and business affairs, and for decades the job of CEO has been among the most coveted among federal lobbyists for its close ties to the media industry.

The powerful senator, who faced declining approval ratings and a difficult re-election race, retired from the Senate last year. As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Dodd was co-author of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law approved in response to the economically devastating 2007-2009 financial crisis.

"Senator Dodd is a battle-tested leader whose reputation as a strong leader on major issues facing this country has prepared him to serve as the Ambassador for the movie business," said Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jim Gianopulos.

Dodd, who was also active in health care reform legislation and a top member of the foreign relations committee in the Senate, fills a spot vacated last year by Dan Glickman when he becomes chairman and chief executive officer of MPAA.

(Reporting by Deborah Charles, Editing by Sandra Maler)