- In the newly created role, the Indian American will lead the group’s federal relations team and work with the Biden administration.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has named Chirag Shah to the newly created role of senior vice president of federal affairs. In this role, Shah will lead AHLA’s federal relations team, developing and executing advocacy strategy on Capitol Hill and with the Biden administration. AHLA says Shah joins the organization “at a critical time for the hotel industry, as it struggles to regain its footing on the heels of the historic COVID-19 pandemic,
Shah comes to AHLA from the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), where he served as vice president of government affairs and counsel. The Government Affairs Department is responsible for organizing advocacy efforts on behalf of, and in participation with, hoteliers, on the federal, state, and local levels. “During his tenure, AAHOA garnered support for critical small business issues including tax reform, workforce relations, U.S. Small Business Administration lending and economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” AHLA says. Shah led AAHOA’s political strategy, “growing its PAC from $250,000 to more than $1 million.”
“Chirag is well-known and widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans and on both sides of the Capitol, having worked on advocacy issues for the hotel industry for nearly a decade,” said Brian Crawford, executive vice president of government affairs at AHLA. “I have worked alongside Chirag for a long time and couldn’t be more excited to have him join the AHLA team.” he said. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve worked together to ensure our industry has access to increased liquidity and debt forbearance for the hotel sector, that employees have jobs to return to once travel demand returns and businesses are protected from undue liability concerns. I know he’ll hit the ground running.”
Prior to joining AAHOA, he served as a deputy director and legal advisor at the Republican National Committee, the campaign manager for Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, and in multiple roles for U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).
Shah has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a JD from University of Missouri’s Columbia School of Law.