We are leaders and readers; fierce advocates for the written word and for a creative, legal, and regulatory environment that fosters innovation in the modern publishing industry.
Maria A. Pallante President and Chief Executive Officer
Maria A. Pallante is the President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers and an internationally respected authority in the field of copyright law. Based in Washington, DC, she leads a talented team and public policy portfolio dedicated to advancing and supporting the modern publishing industry, including its global contributions to culture, research, education, commerce, and the democratic exchange of ideas.
From June 2011 to October 2016, Maria served as United States Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office, where she administered and interpreted the Copyright Act; assisted executive branch officials with litigation, trade agreements, and treaties; and served on numerous U.S. negotiating teams and delegations. A key advisor to the U.S. Congress, Maria worked closely with lawmakers during a comprehensive review of copyright law in the twenty-first century, and led efforts to modernize registration, public records, and other government services that affect the digital marketplace. She frequently testified to the challenges that authors face in navigating outdated and ineffective copyright provisions, and the corresponding impact on the public interest.
Under Maria’s leadership, the Copyright Office produced extensive policy studies, legislative recommendations, and strategic plans that helped to assess and shape the copyright landscape. She delivered major public reports including, The Making Available Right in the United States; Copyright and the Music Marketplace; and Copyright Small Claims, and produced a transformational overhaul of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, making it widely available online to courts, practitioners, and the general public. Among other initiatives, she established the agency’s Barbara A. Ringer Honors Fellowship and Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholars program.
Maria held two previous Copyright Office positions from 2007-2011, as Deputy General Counsel and Director of Policy and International Affairs. Prior to public service, she served as Associate General Counsel for the worldwide network of Guggenheim Museums for more than eight years, where she headed copyright and trademark licensing and advised on business, governance, and the acquisition and exhibition of contemporary art. Earlier in her tenure, she was in private practice and served as counsel to both the Authors Guild and National Writers Union.
Maria is an elected Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA and a recipient of the Champion of Intellectual Property Award from the District of Columbia Bar. She has delivered and published a number of distinguished legal lectures, including the Horace S. Manges Lecture at Columbia University; the David Nelson Lecture at UC Berkeley; the Christopher Meyer Lecture at George Washington University; and the Robert W. Kastenmeier Lecture at the University of Wisconsin. She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Misericordia University, which also awarded her an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
by Edward Snowden
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Matthew Barblan Vice President, Public Policy
Matthew Barblan is Vice President of Public Policy at the Association of American Publishers. In this role, Matthew advises and advocates for the publishing industry on copyright and technology policy issues, as well as on a variety of other business, legal, and policy matters facing the industry in the United States and abroad. He represents the industry’s interests before the Congress, federal agencies, and other regulatory bodies, and his work involves engagement with a broad spectrum of policymakers, industry experts, and partner communities.
Prior to joining AAP, Matthew was Executive Director of the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) and Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason University. During his time at CPIP and George Mason, he taught courses on copyright and trademark law and oversaw a wide range of academic and policy programs addressing copyright’s important role in fostering successful creative industries. He began his career as a litigator in the New York office of Latham and Watkins, LLP. Matthew serves on the Board of Directors of the Copyright Alliance and the Media Coalition.
Matthew holds a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.
by Donna Tartt
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Kelly L. Denson Vice President, Education Policy & Programs
Kelly L. Denson is Vice President of Education Policy and Programs for the Association of American Publishers. In this role, Kelly advises AAP members on state and federal education initiatives that impact the American publishing industry, advocating for clear policies that reflect and advance the important contributions of education publishers. These include digital materials personalized to the individual learning needs of the student and high-quality content accessible to and affordable for every student. Kelly also serves as a key advisor to the academic community, leading joint publisher-academia events and other public outreach that promotes the critical partnership between the publishing and education communities.
With more than 25 years in the education industry, Kelly’s prior roles include the Director of Education Policy and Government Affairs at Discovery Communications and senior policy analyst for the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Kelly has also served as an educational consultant for The Vanguard Group and held positions at various institutions of higher and K-12 education, including Boston University, SUNY Empire State College in New York and the Dalton School in New York City.
Denson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in education degree from Harvard University.
The Upper Room Daily Devotional
Cara DuckworthVice President, Communications
Cara Duckworth is Vice President, Communications at the Association of American Publishers. In this role, Cara helps manage the organization’s broad communications portfolio, including marketing, creative design, and strategic initiatives to help promote and advance the value and important contributions of the U.S. publishing industry.
Prior to AAP, Cara served as Senior Vice President, Communications at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), where she managed an extensive portfolio that included media relations, social media, data and research, and the famous Gold & Platinum Awards program.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Duckworth served as Director of Communications at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and worked as press secretary for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and deputy press secretary for the Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles.
A native of Oklahoma, Cara Duckworth holds a BA in communications from DePauw University where she was an All-American field hockey player.
by Amy Poehler
Karen McInnis Vice President, Finance and Strategic Planning
Karen McInnis is Vice President, Finance & Strategic Planning for the Association of American Publishers. In this role, Karen works to advance the organization’s strategic priorities by managing all aspects of AAP’s financial programs and responsibilities.
A veteran of the finance and managerial sector, Karen began her professional career at AOL Time Warner where she held management roles at Time and Fortune magazines. Karen has also worked at The Topps Company and digital advertising firm Undertone where she implemented “best practice” accounting, payroll, and benefits policies and operating procedures with a focus on organizational transformation and change management.
Karen graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics and from St. John’s University with a Master of Arts in Government and Politics. Karen lives with her husband in Long Beach, NY where she serves on the City Council.
‘Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators”
by Ronan Farrow
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
John McKaySenior Vice President, Communications
John McKay is the Senior Vice President of Communications for the Association of American Publishers. In this role, Mr. McKay leads communications and works closely with AAP’s staff, membership, and partner organizations to refine the communications portfolio and further AAP’s mission of advancing the policy and creative interests of the U.S. publishing industry.
Prior to joining AAP, Mr. McKay was Executive Officer for Marketing, Communications and Branding at New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he served as a liaison to the Governor’s Office, advised the Chairman, and oversaw major communications and marketing initiatives, public service announcements, and app development.
Previously he served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for NBCUniversal and as Vice President, Communication for Sony Music Entertainment.
Mr. McKay holds a BA from the Pennsylvania State University.
“Aeneid Book VI: A New Verse Translation”
translated by Seamus Heaney
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Lui Simpson Senior Vice President, Global Policy
Lui Simpson is Senior Vice President, Global Policy for the Association of American Publishers (AAP). In this role, she directs the association’s engagement with the U.S. and foreign governments on copyright, technology, and international trade policy issues, provides analysis and guidance for the association and members on a variety of policy initiatives, and manages the association’s content protection programs in key Asian markets. Ms. Simpson also serves as AAP’s representative to several domestic and international industry coalitions in pursuing shared policy concerns.
Prior to joining AAP, Lui was Senior Counsel for Intellectual Property Policy at the Entertainment Software Association, where she was responsible for developing and guiding the video game industry association’s work in the areas of copyright and international trade policy. Additionally, Lui has also worked as a consultant to a USAID-funded development project in the Philippines and as a litigator.
Lui holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law and a Master of Laws degree in International and Comparative Law from Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is admitted to the New York State Bar.
“Genghis: Birth of An Empire”
by Conn Iggulden
Syreeta N. Swann Vice President, Programs & Administration
Syreeta N. Swann is Vice President of Programs and Administration at the Association of American Publishers. In this role, Syreeta spearheads all base operations and administrative detail of the organization and manages dozens of policy and programmatic initiatives that advance the interests of the U.S. publishing industry. Additionally, Syreeta helps manage an industry-wide statistics program, membership and market research, and political action committee, along with supporting several of the organization’s diversity programs.
Before joining the AAP, Syreeta served for 15 years at the United States Copyright Office where she was special assistant to the head of the agency and contributed to a wide range of programs, legislative policies, and the administration of the copyright laws. During her tenure, she was also the lead specialist for the Public Information Office and an information technology specialist and systems analyst in the Copyright Technology Office. Syreeta is experienced in communications, Congressional relations, strategic planning, and project management.
Syreeta earned her BA from Oberlin College as a double major in sociology and law and her MA in strategic communication from American University.