The Association of American Publishers today announced that former U.S. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante will succeed Tom Allen as President and CEO. Pallante will officially begin on January 17. AAP said Allen would stay on to help with the transition until the end of January.
In an interview, Allen, who took the AAP post in April of 2009, told PW he was eager to begin his retirement.
“It’s been a fascinating job, and I’ve loved it,” Allen said. “But on the other hand, I want to go fly-fishing, and I want to spend time with my grandchildren.” Allen’s contract, which was extended two years ago, expired at the end of 2016 and his retirement had been long-planned.
With her strong background in IP law and policy, leadership experience, deep connections in Congress, and some connections to publishing, Pallante is a seemingly perfect fit for AAP—and her appointment owes to some serendipitous timing. In October, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden unexpectedly removed Pallante as Register of Copyrights, a post she’d held since 2011. That move was met with shock and dismay in the content industries, including publishing, where Pallante was seen as a strong ally.
Prior to joining the U.S. Copyright Office, Pallante served as intellectual property counsel and director of licensing and branding for the Guggenheim Museums. Earlier in her career, she worked briefly for the Authors Guild, and the National Writers Union.
“Maria is a creative, forward-thinking leader who has earned the deep respect of members of Congress as well as intellectual property experts around the world,” said YS Chi, chairman of the AAP board of directors, in a statement. “The Board believes she is an excellent choice for president and CEO as she brings to AAP considerable expertise in many of the issues facing the publishing industry.”