American Airlines Supports Leadership Development as Exclusive Airline of National Urban Fellows

Partners Will Work Together to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in Public Service Leadership

Oct 12, 2011, 10:00 ET from American Airlines

NEW YORK, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, which has pioneered a number of diversity-based initiatives over its 80-year history, has signed a partnership agreement with National Urban Fellows to become the exclusive airline partner for the leadership development organization. National Urban Fellows is recognized among the country's most effective leadership development institutions for its identification, recruitment and training of people of color for leadership and policy-making positions in urban areas across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Through this relationship with American Airlines, National Urban Fellows will be able to build capacity for more students, expand awareness and increase the reach of its leadership programs.

"At American Airlines, diversity is not a goal – it's the way we do business. We are proud to support leadership development opportunities for other organizations that promote inclusive work environments where people are valued for their diverse experiences, knowledge and abilities," said Art Torno, American's Vice President – New York. "American's partnership with National Urban Fellows will help ensure that the next generation of public service leaders will continue to reflect the rich diversity of our nation and our world."

"National Urban Fellows is providing invaluable opportunities for leadership development to emerging professionals who are women or people of color," said Fatima Shama, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. "I applaud American Airlines for their support and recognition of National Urban Fellows and the importance of diversity in the public sector."

National Urban Fellows' 40-year-old flagship leadership development program, the MPA Fellowship, is the only program in the country where individuals receive both an advanced degree and essential leadership experience. Since 1969, National Urban Fellows has graduated over 1,200 leaders who now hold policy-making positions as mayors, city and county managers, commissioners, health executives and officers of major nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

Paula Gavin, President of National Urban Fellows said, "American Airlines and National Urban Fellows share a commitment to excellence and diversity in leadership for a changing America. We are proud to enter into a strategic relationship with such a respected leader in diversity as we work together to address the unique challenges and opportunities encountered by people of color and women."

In January 2012, National Urban Fellows will host its Annual Leadership Conference, Public Sector Leadership Diversity: A National Imperative, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The conference will provide participants insights into career trends and opportunities for people of color along with resources for positioning and marketing aspiring leaders in the public service job market. The conference will also serve as an opportunity for National Urban Fellows' alumni, mentors and partners to network and engage in dynamic, challenging discussions on Leadership Diversity with elected government officials and expert practitioners while providing ample networking opportunities. American Airlines will offer discounted tickets to conference participants.

"Promoting and embracing diversity and inclusion within our society requires more than making a corporate workplace inclusive, though that is a great start," said Lauri Curtis, American Airlines Vice President - Diversity, Leadership and Engagement. "American Airlines understands that we must enable and facilitate moving people with different backgrounds and perspectives into positions of public service in order to have true equality and economic opportunity for everyone. This partnership with National Urban Fellows and the support provided by American will further enable these important efforts."

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website,®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 10,000 daily flights to 149 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR).

About National Urban Fellows

National Urban Fellows seeks to inspire excellence and diversity in public service leadership. Founded in 1969 to counter the under-representation of people of color and women in leadership, National Urban Fellows is one of the oldest leadership development organizations in the United States, and a premiere voice of authority on leadership diversity for public, private and nonprofit sectors. The organization's range of mid-career leadership development programs includes the 40 year-old MPA Fellowship, a 14- month program linking graduate-level academic training with a critical leadership experience in a large nonprofit or government agency; an Alumni program offering life-long networking, career enhancement and personal development opportunities; and America's Leaders of Change, a career acceleration program for leaders on the rise in government, non-profit and private sectors. In 2010, National Urban Fellows issued a call to action and formed the Public Service Leadership Diversity Initiative, a collaborative, national network that will create the awareness of the need for leadership diversity, while developing a pipeline of people of color and women who are prepared for public service leadership. National Urban Fellows develops the leadership for a changing America. For more information about National Urban Fellows, visit

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