As Executive Vice President for Public Affairs of the American Gas Association, Rick Shelby is responsible for advocacy outreach, communications and public relations. His major focus is Capitol Hill and the Executive branch of government.
Rick, a native of Oklahoma, began his political career working as the Organizational Director of the Oklahoma Republican Party and went on to serve as the Executive Director of the State Party and Director of Field Operations for former United States Senator Dewey Bartlett. In 1977 he was elected State Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. Rick left the Chairmanship of the Party in 1979 to become one of the original Regional Political Directors for the Reagan for President Committee, coordinating a nine state area including the strategically important state of Texas. Following the election of President Reagan, Rick served on the White House staff as Deputy Director of White House Personnel. In 1982 Rick served as the National Campaign Director for the Republican National Committee. He subsequently served as the Interim Convention Manager of the 1984 Republican National Convention as well as Regional Campaign Director for the Reagan Re-Election Committee, and then formed his own company the following year specializing in campaign consulting, governmental affairs and corporate grassroots advocacy work.
In the 1990 election cycle Rick served as Political Director for the National Senatorial Republican Committee. Recent political clients with whom Rick has worked include U.S. Senator Don Nickles, U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, Congressman Jim McCrery, Congressman Ed Whitfield, Congressman Bob Barr, Congressman Bill Emerson, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson and Congressman Jack Buechner. Rick also has extensive international experience, having provided strategic political counsel to democratic parties and candidates in Russia, Ukraine and Albania, including former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Albanian President Sali Barshia.
In the area of grassroots activity and development, Rick has played key roles in many battles including the utility industry fight against clean air legislation, the health insurance industry battle against the Clinton Health Care initiative and in the effort at both the state and federal levels in support of official language legislation.
Rick and his wife Penny have three daughters and live in McLean, Virginia. He was a captain in the United States Marine Corps and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Student Loan Marketing Association (SALLIE MAE), the Private Enterprise Foundation, and U.S. English, Inc. He also formerly served as the Chairman of the RNC Majority Fund. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Council, the Canadian-American Business Council and BIPAC.