Willie Walsh became the eighth person to lead the International Air Transport Association (IATA) when he took on the role of Director General in April 2021.
Prior to joining IATA, Walsh spent his entire career in the airline industry. beginning as a cadet pilot with Aer Lingus in 1979 and rising to the position of Chief Executive at the airline in 2001. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Executive of British Airways (BA). He led BA through the 2008/09 global financial crisis, established a transatlantic joint business venture with Iberia, Finnair and American Airlines, and oversaw the 2011 merger of BA and Iberia under a newly established parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG). He was Chief Executive of IAG from its inception until September 2020.
Under Walsh’s leadership, IATA has focused on supporting the industry’s emergence from the COVID-19 crisis as well as aviation’s ambitious and historic commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Walsh has also advocated for infrastructure partners to avoid recouping their COVID losses from their customers including airlines and air travelers.
Walsh is deeply familiar with IATA, having also served on the IATA Board of Governors between 2005 to 2018, including serving as Chair (2016-2017). A citizen of Ireland, Walsh was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1961. Walsh holds a Master of Science and Business Administration from Trinity College, Dublin.
Regional Vice-President, Africa & Middle East
Kamil represents IATA in 68 countries, serving 57 airlines across AME. He leads the execution of IATA’s priorities for the region and advocates on behalf of the airline industry to continuously improve safety levels, to enhance connectivity particularly across Africa, to reduce costs for airlines and to ensure the sustainability of air transport.
Prior to joining IATA in 2021, Kamil was the CEO of Kuwait Airways and held various key positions at the airline in the areas of safety, security, quality management and enterprise resource planning over his 31-year career in the aviation industry.
Kamil holds an MBA in Aerospace Management from the Toulouse Business School and an Engineering degree in Aircraft Maintenance Management from Air Service Training (AST) in the UK.
SVP Operations, Safety and Security
Nick leads IATA’s work on safety, security and operations, including airports, fuel supply, passenger experience, cargo and ground handling.
Before joining IATA in 2015, Nick was Vice President of Airports, Call Centers and Customer Relations for Air Canada. He built his career in Air Canada and its subsidiary Jazz, where he managed various aspects of airport operations, including Inflight, Flight Operations, Operations Control, and Maintenance. Nick brings with him a wealth of experience covering all facets airline operations, human resource management, labor and government relations.
He completed his studies in Political Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and also holds the Master Black Belt Certification from Six Sigma.
Rachel Yuting Fan
Rachel Yuting Fan is a Senior Economist at the International Air Transport Association, where she monitors global air transportation and publishes economic research in global aviation industry and economic developments.
Previously she was an Economist in the World Bank’s MENA Chief Economist’s Office, where she led and co-authored in flagship publication of MENA Economic Update and published on peer-reviewed academic journals. Before joining the World Bank, she worked at the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund, where she was in charge of IMF's Primary Commodity Price System, and co-authored in IMF flagship publication World Economic Outlook.
Assistant Director Sustainability
Jon joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2008 and has over thirty years professional environmental management experience including 4 years with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
He holds Masters in both Climate Change Science and Hazardous Waste Management and is a Registered Principal Environmental Auditor. He is currently supporting the development of strategic sustainability best practices for the airline sector and has been leading IATA’s activities related to sustainability reporting, biodiversity, sustainable finance, noise, cabin waste and plastics.
Jon has recently been appointed as the Vice-Chair to the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce.
Director, Industry Distribution
Yanik joined IATA in May 2011 where he was accountable for leading and coordinating the development of new solutions and new Industry services.
He has over 25 year’s airline experience, most of which at British Airways where he began as Senior Manager Revenue Management in 1996 and then held several positions as Area Commercial Manager overseas.
He has been leading the New Distribution Capability Program since July 2013 and in January 2021 he was appointed as Director, Distribution which covers the broader scope of Airline Retailing, including driving the adoption of industry standards such as NDC and ONE Order for example.
Manager, Customer Experience
Younkyung (Youn) Kim is a Manager in the IATA Customer Experience department based in Geneva and is currently working on IATA’s One ID initiative. In this role, Youn also acts as the secretariat and manages the Customer Experience and Facilitation industry Working Group which mainly focuses on developing the One ID industry standards. She has been with IATA since 2015 and was previously based at IATA’s Asia-Pacific regional office in Singapore where she was involved in various passenger experience and facilitation initiatives such as One ID, passenger data programs (API/PNR), Automated Border Control (ABC), visa and travel authorization. Youn has about 16 years of aviation experience including a 7-year stint in Japan Airlines that included airport passenger handling, sales & marketing.
Youn holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Geneva in Switzerland and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ewha Womans University in the Republic of Korea.
Director, Policy & Economics
Andrew is the Director Policy and Standards, Sustainability and Economics at the International Air Transport Association, based in Geneva.
With 15 years of industry experience, Andrew leads a team which provides thought leadership, strategic insights and actionable advice on the global economic, regulatory and policy landscape, as well as the key issues and developments facing the air transport industry.
These insights inform IATA’s member airlines and other stakeholders, including governments and regulators.
Head Worldwide Airport Slots
John is IATA’s Head of Worldwide Airport Slots, responsible for IATA’s advocacy activity on airport slots – including working with the airport, coordinator, and airline communities to develop the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines. He also leads the organization of the Slot Conference, the twice-yearly global airline schedule optimization meeting.
For ten years prior to joining the slots team, John was a member of IATA’s legal team, working on slots, financial settlement systems, and airline bankruptcy matters.
Director Net Zero Transition
Hemant Mistry has 30 years’ experience in aviation, including technology application, commercial strategy and regulatory reform. He leads IATA’s Energy Transition activities to support decarbonization of the industry, working across airlines, governments and the supply-chain to achieve Net Zero by 2050.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hemant has been responsible for IATA’s work on securing financial support for airlines and supply chain partners. Prior to this Hemant was IATA’s Director of Infrastructure and Fuel where he worked with governments, airports, ANSPs and jet fuel suppliers to build opportunities for partnership, pricing & efficiency improvement, as well as effective capacity development.
Before joining IATA, Hemant worked as a Senior Associate for Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management consultancy, where he led competition and regulatory assessments for the European Commission and performed safety audits for national aviation authorities. Hemant’s first employment was with UK National Air Traffic Services where he helped develop ICAO standards and recommended practices for new aviation technologies and operational concepts. He was sponsored by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and is a graduate of the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology.
Head Digital Cargo
Henk is Head of Digital Cargo at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is responsible for the development of standards to support the digitalization of air cargo.
He is now working with multimodal partner organizations to extend data sharing to all transport modes and together develop full digital logistics. He also leads the development of IoT standards for cargo tracking devices. In previous roles at IATA, he led the transition away from IATA coordinated airline tariffs and led several restructuring programs including the development of IATA’s regional structure and IATA’s global financial operations.
Prior to IATA, Henk has worked in digital initiatives in banking, global health, publishing, manufacturing, and fundamental research. He has degrees in mathematics, electronics, and information technology.
Global Head of Cargo
Brendan leads IATA’s cargo activities as the Global Head of Cargo. Before taking on this role in July 2021 Brendan held a number of roles in IATA covering cargo operations, e-commerce and dangerous goods.
Prior to joining IATA in 2007, Brendan was at Air Canada managing various aspects of cargo operations, processes, and procedures. Passionate about air cargo, innovation, diversity and talent, Brendan also founded IATAs future air cargo executive FACE program and has a wealth of experience in logistics, operations, and people management.
Marie Owens Thomsen
SVP Sustainability & Chief Economist
Marie joined IATA in 2022 as Chief Economist. In January 2023 Marie added responsibility for IATA’s Environment and Sustainability activities to her role.
Marie joined IATA from Lombard Odier where she was Head of Global Trends and Sustainability. Her 30-year professional life includes roles for both investment banks and private banks, including HSBC in London, Merrill Lynch in Paris, and Indosuez in Geneva. Outside of the financial sector Marie worked for IKEA, and she also founded and managed her own company in the equine industry.
Marie holds an MBA from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and a PhD in International Economics from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. She speaks Swedish, English, and French fluently.
Colette Zraibi is currently working at IATA on aircraft noise management. With close to 20 years of experience in the airlines industry and an aeronautical engineering degree, Colette has a passion for aviation and a commitment to excellence. She has worked in various roles within the industry, covering flight operations, flight safety, fuel efficiency, and climate policy management.