Southwest Airlines Announces Appointment of Roy Blunt to Its Board of Directors


Washington, D.C. – The Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has appointed Roy Blunt as a member of the Board, effective July 16.

Blunt has been the Chairman of the Leadership Strategies Advisory Services Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Husch Blackwell Strategies, a government affairs advisory firm, since April. He previously served as a United States Senator from the State of Missouri (2011 to 2023), and as U.S. Representative for Missouri's 7th congressional district (1997 to 2011). In the Senate, Blunt's committee assignments included the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation, Operations, and Innovation; the Committee on Intelligence; and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Blunt began his public service career as a high school history teacher before becoming the county clerk and chief election official of Greene County, Missouri. He also served as the Missouri Secretary of State from 1985 to 1993, and as President of Southwest Baptist University from 1993 to 1996. Additionally, Blunt is the current President of the State Historical Society of Missouri and an Executive Fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Blunt also Chairs the advisory Board for the National Geospatial Agency of the U. S. Government.

Among his many accomplishments, Blunt has worked to ensure Missouri colleges and universities remain on the cutting edge of research and innovation, helping them attract and retain exceptional students, faculty, and researchers. He advanced critical infrastructure projects for the State of Missouri, prioritizing federal support for projects. During his time in the Senate, he supported the travel and tourism industry. And as a member of both the Intelligence Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Blunt worked to ensure the U.S. military and intelligence community had the tools and resources they needed. He has been recognized for his work in aviation with the Friend of Aviation Award from the Missouri Airport Managers Association and when the City of Springfield, Mo. renamed the terminal at the Springfield-Branson National Airport after Blunt.

Blunt received a bachelor's degree from Southwest Baptist University and a master's degree from Missouri State University.

"Roy's leadership as a public servant—most notably in the Senate where he provided critical oversight of the aviation industry in areas of operations and innovation, combined with his background in education, will be a tremendous benefit to our Board," said Gary Kelly, Executive Chairman of the Board for Southwest Airlines. "His knowledge and expertise, along with his broad experience spanning health care, infrastructure, and national security, will add valuable perspectives and thought leadership as we continue to expand and bolster our Board with proven, established Leaders. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Blunt's efforts have been recognized by numerous leading health advocacy groups nationwide, including ACT for NIH, the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Impact Movement, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Medical Association, the One Voice Against Cancer Coalition, UsAgainstAlzheimer's, Research!America, and United for Medical Research.

With the addition of Mr. Blunt, the Southwest Airlines Co. Board of Directors is made up of 15 diverse professionals with a range of leadership experience, including technology, innovation, business, and education. The Board strives for diversity in line with Southwest's DEI Commitment in the broadest sense: experience, industry, geography, gender, ethnicity, and race, with the goals of obtaining diverse perspectives and promoting constructive debate. Approximately 30 percent of the Board is ethnically and/or gender diverse. The Board has also invested in a corporate-level membership in the National Association of Corporate Directors—an organization of directors from public, private, and nonprofit organizations who are committed to the highest standard of excellence in board leadership, director development, best practices, and serving as strategic assets for their organizations. To learn more about the Southwest Airlines' Board of Directors, visit this link.

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