James Edmund Datri

President & Chief Executive Officer, American Advertising Federation


James Edmund DatriJames Edmund Datri is President and CEO of the American Advertising Federation, the nation's only advertising industry trade group that represents all facets of the industry—the country's leading advertisers, advertising and talent agencies, and media and entertainment companies; individual advertising professionals in almost 200 local AAF chapters; and students from colleges and universities across the nation—all under one umbrella.

Under Jim's leadership, the AAF has achieved record levels of revenue, growth, and expansion—including moving the Advertising Hall of Fame Gala from a luncheon to a dinner, quintupling its revenue and dramatically increasing its stature and audience; transforming the Advertising Hall of Achievement into a successful bi-coastal event, now held in alternating years in New York City, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco, also leading it to record levels of revenue and attendance; and expanding the AAF's corporate base to include new leaders and companies from the digital space, music industry and Hollywood. The President's Award he instituted at the Hall of Fame has been presented to luminaries including actors Robert De Niro and Michael J. Fox.

Jim has had a dynamic career spanning politics and law, as well as advertising & media.

Jim began his career in the political arena, and at a young age rose to become Executive Director of the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his years in politics, Jim was named five times to Roll Call's "Fabulous Fifty" list of the 50 most influential and powerful strategists on Capitol Hill.

Jim then had a successful career as an attorney, becoming a partner at two large international law firms: first at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; then at McDermott Will & Emery, where his clients included Fortune 500 companies, and spanned media, technology, and banking.

Jim sits on the board of directors of The Washington Ballet, the Advertising Educational Foundation, and The Ad Council; the advisory board of the Annapolis Film Festival; the artistic advisory board of the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus; and formerly served as Vice Chair of the Harvard Law School Annual Fund.

A sailor, he is a member of the Bellport Bay Yacht Club, and the Great South Bay Yacht Racing Association.

Jim received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was a University of California Regents Scholar, and gave the 50th Anniversary Commencement Address at his undergraduate college there; and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where in 2013 he was named a Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker.

Last Updated: July 2017