William K. “Will” Ris is Senior Vice President – Government & Regulatory Affairs for AMR Corporation and American Airlines. An attorney with broad experience in government and transportation, Ris has been American Airlines’ principal government affairs executive since July 1996. He is responsible for directing all activities on behalf of American and its parent company, AMR Corporation, with Congress, the administration and a broad range of federal agencies. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of American Airlines.
Ris joined American in 1996 from the Wexler Group, a Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm, where he had been Executive Vice President. In that capacity, he had represented American as outside counsel for 13 years. Before his association with Wexler, he served from 1975 to 1978 as a trial attorney for the United States Civil Aeronautics Board. In 1978, Ris was appointed counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and its Aviation Subcommittee. He served for five years, during which time he was the principal Senate legal counsel for the drafting of both the airline and trucking deregulation bills.
Today, Ris serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Green Door, Inc., which is a nationally recognized organization that provides services for chronically mentally ill persons in Washington, D.C. Ris is a member of the Board of Governors of Ford’s Theater in Washington, also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of People with Disabilities. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Advanced Navigation & Positioning Corporation in Hood River, Oregon, and Chairman of its Corporate Governance Committee.
Ris graduated from Northwestern University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. He received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 1971, a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1974, and a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University College of Law in 1978.