MAC Selects Dana Nelson as New Governmental Affairs Director

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has selected Dana Nelson to serve as director of governmental affairs. In this role, Nelson will act as intergovernmental liaison with federal, state and local governments on behalf of the MAC. Nelson will start her new role on Monday, June 3.

Dana Nelson
Photo Credit: Metropolitan Airports Commission

Nelson has distinguished herself in a variety of roles since joining the MAC staff in 2009. Most recently, she served as the MAC’s director of stakeholder engagement since 2019. In that role, she tracked federal and state policies on aircraft noise and advised leadership on emerging issues. She also served as a liaison with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), representing the MAC’s interests on topics including airport runway use, airspace, and air traffic control procedure development. During her time as director of stakeholder engagement, she developed strong working relationships with community groups, elected officials, regulating agencies and other stakeholders.

Prior to her role directing stakeholder engagement, she served as the MAC’s manager of noise, environment and planning from 2015 to 2019. She got her start at the MAC as a noise and operations information specialist in 2009.

“Dana is an excellent choice to represent the MAC in our engagement with government officials and stakeholders,” said MAC CEO Brian Ryks. “She has a proven track record of building relationships based on mutual respect and trust. She has demonstrated a consistent ability to seek out common ground and effectively address complex issues. We look forward to having her represent our organization in her new role.”

A licensed pilot, Nelson has won numerous awards and recognition for her work at the MAC. In 2021, she was recognized as one of Airport Business Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. She was part of a team that earned the 2017 Environmental Achievement Award in Innovative and Special Projects from Airports Council International, and she recently received an internal award from the MAC honoring her work engaging stakeholders during development of the long-term plan for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“Building relationships and connections is a key role for government relations teams, and we are thrilled to add Dana to our team,” said MAC Vice President for Government Relations Mitch Killian. “As we engage with elected officials and government agencies on aviation and airport issues, Dana’s knowledge and skills will help the MAC tell its story and ensure mutually beneficial outcomes for our organization, our stakeholders and our region.”