Borrer Executive Search Lands Corporate Secretary for International Air Transport Association

October 25, 2018 – Lausanne, Switzerland-based Borrer Executive Search has placed the next corporate secretary for the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Karen Clayton, general counsel and company secretary for Air New Zealand, will join IATA in April.

Ms. Clayton takes over for Paul Steele, who serves as IATA’s corporate secretary and senior vice president for member and external relations. Next spring, Mr. Steele will shift his focus to strengthening IATA’s advocacy activities in his continued role for member and external relations.

In her new position, Ms. Clayton will be charged with ensuring the integrity of IATA’s governance framework, including management of the association’s board of governors and its various committees. The board members are elected by IATA’s 290 members and consists of CEOs from 31 airlines and IATA’s director general and CEO.

As a member of IATA’s strategic leadership team, Ms. Clayton will also support the director general and CEO with advice and input on IATA’s strategic plans and industry initiatives.

Deep Experience

“Karen brings with her a wealth of experience that will ensure the continued effective management of IATA’s governance processes,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO. “Moreover, her industry expertise, leadership on diversity and inclusion, and strategic boardroom experience will contribute to IATA’s overall success in fulfilling its mission to represent, lead and serve the global airline industry.”


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Ms. Clayton is well suited for the role. “In my time at Air New Zealand, I have experienced the importance of IATA’s global standards in driving innovation and making international air connectivity possible,” she said. “By joining the IATA team next year, I look forward to contributing to the value that IATA creates and supporting the needs of its members.”

A U.K. national, Ms. Clayton holds a law degree from Sheffield University and a diploma in legal practice from Exeter University. She was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1999. After beginning her career with legal firms in the U.K. and Australia, Ms. Clayton moved into corporate practice where she served as general counsel and company secretary at National Grid Plc, then general counsel at Mercury NZ Ltd, prior to joining Air New Zealand. Throughout her career, Ms. Clayton has been a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion.

The International Air Transport Association is a trade association of the world’s airlines. Consisting of 290 airlines, primarily major carriers, representing 117 countries, the IATA’s member airlines account for carrying approximately 82 percent of total Available Seat Miles air traffic.

A Boutique Search Firm

Borrer Executive Search, founded in 2010, is a boutique search and selection firm. The firm specializes in sourcing senior executives (director, VP, C-level) for positions based in Switzerland, wider Europe and internationally. The firm’s practices include: global operations (supply chain and procurement), commercial (GM, sales and marketing) and corporate support leadership functions. Borrer Executive Search operates across industry for the above functions with 50 percent of its search mandates for the wider consumer goods industry (FMCG, cosmetics/beauty, global beverage, luxury, dairy, consumer health and electronics). Other industries it serves include life sciences, mining and metals, insurance, sport, aviation and not-for-profit.


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Founder Jennifer Borrer supports clients in attracting executive talent in global operations (procurement and end-to-end supply chain) and commercial leadership roles. Her industry focus is on global consumer goods and life sciences.

With over 15 years’ experience in senior and executive management recruitment across four continents, Ms. Borrer has a strong track record in delivering tailored and personalized search solutions across Switzerland, wider Europe, MEA and AustralAsia. She has partnered MNC (GE) across Australia, to lead large recruitment focused outsourcing projects. Since 2009, she has partnered leading MBA / EMBA schools (IMD and HEC Lausanne), providing career transition strategy consulting to their participants.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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