GM names new government affairs VP

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — – General Motors Co. said Tuesday it has named a new vice president for federal and administrative affairs — and it promoted another executive within the company — to boost its presence in Washington, D.C.

Dan Turton, an executive at Entergy, will be U.S. vice president, federal and administration affairs for GM. The automaker promoted Bryan Roosa to the position of executive director for North America.

Turton was vice president of Entergy’s federal governmental affairs and was head of Entergy’s Washington office. He worked for President Barack Obama in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs and as an aide to Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., the House Committee on Rules and at Timmons and Co.

The moves come after GM had one of its roughest years in its history, facing four congressional hearings over its recall of 2.6 million older vehicles for ignition defects linked to at least 42 deaths. GM CEO Mary Barra has made rebuilding the company’s relationships with members of Congress a top priority.

“One of the lessons General Motors has maybe had to learn more than once, is relationships matter,” Barra told The Detroit News in October.

Turton, 47, will be responsible for GM’s federal policy strategy and will oversee GM’s relationships with executive branch and congressional officials, GM said in a statement.

“With more than 20 years of experience in government affairs, Dan is a proven leader and will be pivotal in driving the long-term U.S. federal strategy for General Motors,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, GM Global Public Policy.

Ferguson, who had been tapped to run GM’s Cadillac unit, returned to Washington earlier this year to resume his role as the company’s top government affairs official.

Turton will report to Ferguson and will be based in the GM office in Washington. The move is effective Jan. 12.

“I am thrilled to join General Motors and its Federal Affairs team,” said Turton. “I look forward to continuing to build strong ties across both aisles in the Congress, and with federal agencies, to advance the priorities of one of America’s most important companies.”

Roosa, 52, currently GM’s executive director for state government relations, is being promoted to oversee North America on Jan. 1, overseeing GM’s government relations in Mexico and Canada, and will continue to oversee those activities at the U.S., state and local level.

“As the leading automotive manufacturer in the United States, GM also plays an important role throughout the entire North America region,” said Roosa. “I am excited to work with GM’s outstanding teams in Canada and Mexico to foster important relationships with their governments and elected leaders.”

Roosa joined GM in 2002 and represents GM on the board of directors for the Michigan Economic Development Foundation and the Michigan Manufacturers Association. He previously worked as a staff member in the Michigan Senate and in several capacities for former Michigan Governor John Engler.