WASHINGTON (AP) _ The powerful organization that lobbies on behalf of America's movie industry said Thursday it has selected as its new chief Dan Glickman, a former Kansas lawmaker and agriculture secretary under President Clinton.
Glickman, 59, has lobbied on behalf of The Walt Disney Co. and his son is a successful producer. He replaces Jack Valenti, a one-time White House adviser who has been Hollywood's influential champion in Washington the past 38 years.
The Motion Picture Association of America's choice of Glickman over several studio insiders reflects the industry's preference for a chief executive already known in the nation's capital.
Glickman said his top priorities will be fighting piracy and ensuring Hollywood's ability to sell its films overseas. Valenti acknowledged that Glickman's salary will be ``in that alluring range of seven figures.'' Glickman joked that he will earn ``more than I make now, a very comfortable wage.''
Both Valenti and Glickman said there was no pressure for the MPAA to appoint a Republican, and Glickman said he was known in Congress as a moderate with many GOP friends.
``This is not a partisan job,'' Valenti said.
The MPAA oversees U.S. movie ratings and lobbies for Hollywood's top seven studios.
Valenti, 82, announced his retirement in March. He said Thursday he will remain at least partly in charge of the industry's ratings system but turn over all other responsibilities to Glickman after Sept. 1. The board secretly voted to hire Glickman last week.
``I've got a lot to learn, a steep learning curve,'' Glickman said.
Glickman is director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His son, Jonathan Glickman, is a producer whose films include Shanghai Knights, Shanghai Noon, Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2.
Glickman, a native of Wichita, represented Kansas from 1977 to 1995. He was principal author of the 1990 Farm Bill and headed the House Intelligence Committee during its investigation of the Aldrich Ames espionage case inside the CIA.