Aerospace and defense contractor AAR, a leading provider of aircraft maintenance and supply chain solutions worldwide, announces the appointment of AAR Vice President Cheryle Robinson Jackson as its first President, AAR Africa.
Jackson, who has served as AAR's Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development since she joined the company in 2010, more recently added business development to her responsibilities and has been successful in growing AAR's business in Africa. She spent much of the last two years traveling between the U.S. and Africa to solidify AAR's foothold in the continent and building on the company's first power-by-the-hour (PBH) component inventory management and repair services contract with Kenya Airways fleet of 737NGs, aided by the U.S. Commerce Department's Doing Business in Africa initiative. More recent deals include a PBH contract with fastjet, the award-winning, Africa-based low-cost airline, illustrating the global reach of AAR's supply chain solutions.
“Six of the 13 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa, and improving travel routes and transportation infrastructure is crucial to that expansion. Given that Africa is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, it provides a tremendous business opportunity for AAR,” said David P. Storch, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAR and one of 15 executives on the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.
“AAR is excited about the growth prospects in this region and appointed Cheryle to lead our efforts, given her proven ability to open new markets, success working with governments, and her commitment to doing business in Africa,” he added.
The work of Jackson and her team will include conducting in-depth market analysis, identifying new business opportunities and strategic industry and business partners, and cultivating strong relationships to bridge the cultural gap and align industry goals with local economic revitalization objectives.
As Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development at AAR, Jackson has been responsible for developing strategies to drive AAR's growth, as well as government relations, strategic partnerships and alliances, and communications activities. In 2012, Jackson became the first African American woman elected to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Board of Governors. The AIA is regarded as the most authoritative and influential advocate for U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturers around public policy and homeland security issues to increase its members' global competitiveness. Jackson previously served as President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, an economic empowerment organization, and was a candidate for President Obama's once-vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2008.
“Throughout my career, I have built bridges to connect people and organizations to the resources they require to reach the next level of success,” Jackson said.
“I am excited about the potential of Africa's aviation sector and the opportunity for AAR to tap into it. Aviation is a growing and powerful economic driver in Africa, and today, the sky's the limit. Gaining the experience of an award-winning aviation aftermarket services provider like AAR would give Africa's aircraft operators a competitive advantage, benefitting not only their bottom line but their employees and the communities they live in. I'm proud to work for a company with more than 60 years of experience that recognizes the importance of being a good partner to the industry, as well as to the communities we serve,” she added.
AAR is a global aftermarket solutions company that employs more than 4,500 people in over 20 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR supports commercial aviation and government customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Expeditionary Services. AAR’s Aviation Services include inventory management; parts supply; OEM parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and component repair. AAR’s Expeditionary Services include airlift operations; mobility systems; and command and control centers in support of military and humanitarian missions.