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L. Welch Pogue Award

Recipients of the  L. Welch Pogue Award are recognized for their service to the industry and efforts that have helped shape modern international commercial air transportation.

The L. Welch Pogue Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aviation was first presented to Mr. Pogue himself in 1994, on the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Convention, the legal blueprint for post-World War II expansion of commercial aviation. Mr. Pogue, a former chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, served as a U.S. delegate at the International Civil Aviation Conference adopting the Convention, which remains the legal and regulatory basis for the conduct of international aviation. A tribute to the achievements of Mr. Pogue and his colleagues, the Pogue Award is presented annually to an individual considered a visionary and preeminent leader of contemporary aviation.

Recipients of the L. Welch Pogue Award

Dave Barger
President and CEO,  JetBlue Airways

Giovanni Bisignani
Director General and CEO International Air Transport Association,

Marion C. Blakey
Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration

John R. Byerly
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Robert L. Crandall
Chairman, President, and CEO, American Airlines/AMR Corporation

Donald Engen
Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration; Director, National Air and Space Museum

Robert T. Francis II
Vice Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board

Jane F. Garvey
Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration

Peggy Gilligan
Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration

Bob Goldner
Special Counsel, Office of Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation

Paul Gretch
Director, Office of International Aviation, U.S. Department of Transportation

Alfred E. Kahn
Chairman, U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board

Herbert D. Kelleher
Chairman, President, and CEO, Southwest Airlines

John S. Kern
Vice President – Regulatory Compliance/Chief Safety Officer, Northwest Airlines

Susan McDermott
Deputy Assistant Secretary; Assistant Director for Negotiations, Office of Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation

Paul V. Mifsud
Vice President of Government & Legal Affairs, USA, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines; Founder of “The Mifnet”

Norman Y. Mineta
Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Professor Helen Muir
Director, Cranfield Institute for Safety, Risk and Reliability

Oscar Munoz
Executive Chairman and CEO, United Airlines

Professor Brian O’Keeffe
Father of the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) Australia,

L. Welch Pogue
Chairman, U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board

John E. Robson
Chairman, U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board

Jeffrey N. Shane
Under Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation

Frederick W. Smith
Founder and Executive Chairman, FedEx

Delford M. Smith
Founder and Chairman,  Evergreen International Aviation

Andrew B. Steinberg
Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration; Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation; Partner, Jones Day

Mary Street
Assistant Director for Negotiations, Office of International Aviation, U.S. Department of Transportation

Henri Wassenbergh
Aviation Scholar

Jürgen Weber
Chairman and CEO, Deutsche Lufthansa AG

 L. Welch Pogue

L. Welch Pogue was a visionary leader whose knowledge, drive, and determination were fundamental in the development and expansion of civil aviation worldwide.

L. Welch Pogue was born in 1899 on a farm near Grant, Iowa. He attended Grinnell College and the University of Nebraska and received legal degrees from the University of Michigan Law School and Harvard University.

Mr. Pogue joined the law firm of Ropes, Gray, Boyden & Perkins in 1927. In 1938, Mr. Pogue began his tenure as general counsel of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in Washington, D.C. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Mr. Pogue chairman of the CAB, a post he held until returning to private practice in 1946.

During his years with the CAB, Mr. Pogue negotiated aviation policies that helped make civil aviation a safe, viable industry within the United States and throughout the world. He represented the United States as a delegate to the 1944 International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago, which he mentioned in a speech at the age of 100: “Few of the millions of passengers who fly the world each year have even heard of the Chicago Convention, but it is one of the postwar world’s most enduring agreements, opening the skies of most of the world to peaceful passage of aircraft and setting up rules for air traffic control and the formation of aviation treaties between nations.”

Building on his work in Chicago, in 1946 Mr. Pogue served as vice chairman of both the Bermuda Agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States and the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly.

After resigning from the CAB, Mr. Pogue established his law firm, Pogue & Neal, in Washington, D.C. The firm represented aviation-industry clients, as well as clients in other industries. In 1967, Pogue & Neal merged with a Cleveland-based firm to form Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. Mr. Pogue retired from legal practice in 1981.

L. Welch Pogue died in 2003 at the age of 103. In recognition of his service to the United States, Mr. Pogue was laid to rest at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Virginia.