Cheryle Jackson, vice president of government affairs and corporate development at AAR, has been named president of the Wood Dale, Illinois-based aerospace and defense contractor’s business unit in Africa.
AAR said Tuesday she will be responsible for helping grow the company’s aviation maintenance and supply chain operations across the African continent.
Jackson and her team will also conduct in-depth market analysis, explore new business opportunities and establish partnerships that can help address a cultural gap and align industry goals with local economic revitalization objectives.
“Given that Africa is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, it provides a tremendous business opportunity for AAR,” said David Storch, AAR chairman, president and CEO.
“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,” Storch added.
Prior to this appointment, she oversaw growth strategy development, government relations, strategic alliances and communications functions at the company over the past six years.
She also led AAR’s efforts to establish a footprint in Africa during the past two years as well as build on the company’s component inventory management and repair services contract with Kenya Airways through the U.S. Commerce Department‘s Doing Business in Africa program.
Jackson is also the founder of social enterprise Real Like Me and previously held leadership positions at NPR, Amtrak, Chicago Urban League and the State of Illinois.
She became the first African-American woman elected to the board of governors of the Aerospace Industries Association in 2012.