Burleson and Woodruff Lyons Join ATCA's Board

June 27, 2023

Burleson enjoyed an over thirty-year career at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in various positions. This included Acting FAA Deputy Administrator, the second highest-ranking official at the agency responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the largest aerospace system in the world, from January 2018 to August 2019. He was also Senior Advisor to the FAA Administrator until his retirement in February 2020.


Prior to these assignments, Mr. Burleson was FAA's Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment from 2011. In this role, he led the agency's efforts to increase the safety and capacity of the global aerospace system in an environmentally sound manner. This included leading the FAA's strategic policy and planning efforts; coordinating the agency's reauthorization before Congress; overseeing policies and research efforts in the environment and energy arenas; and managing the FAA's forecasts, economic analyses, and regulatory evaluations.

Mr. Burleson held a variety of other positions at the FAA during his career including: Director of the Office of Environment and Energy, the FAA Administrator's Chief of Staff, and the FAA's Senior Representative for Northern Europe. Prior to his career at the FAA, Mr. Burleson worked at several other federal agencies as well as in the private sector.

Mr. Burleson currently works as a consultant to a few aviation firms and one trade association as well as serving on three advisory boards for aviation-related firms.

Mr. Burleson holds graduate degrees from Boston University and American University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. He is a recipient of a number of awards including: a finalist in the Public Service to America Awards; the Office of the Secretary’s International Aviation and Safety Award; and the 2019 recipient of the Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence. 

Woodruff Lyons is the founder and President of HWL Aerospace Policy, LLC, a government relations consulting firm that provides clients with strategic counsel and legislative assistance on aerospace policy.  HWL Aerospace Policy, LLC was founded in 2022 and represents a number of aerospace and transportation clients.

Prior to forming HWL Aerospace Policy, Holly was the Republican Staff Director and Senior 

Counsel of the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation. She retired at the end of 2021 after serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff since 2002 where she served in several different capacities, including as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure from 2014 - 2018. 

During her almost 20 years of Hill experience, Holly worked on a number of legislative efforts including every Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board reauthorization bill or law since 2003. She was the lead House drafter and negotiator of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018; the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016; and the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012; and the lead House Republican drafter and negotiator of the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act in 2020. Holly also helped draft and negotiate the Airline Safety Act of 2010; the European Union ETS Prohibition Act of 2011; and the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013.

Prior to joining the committee, Holly was an attorney in the FAA’s Office of the Chief Counsel, Airport and Environmental Law Division, and before that, worked in private legal practice and higher education. 

She graduated from Colgate University and the University of San Diego School of Law. She is a member of the Bar in Colorado, and resides with her husband Mark Lyons (USMC retired) in Fernandina Beach, Florida.