David Israelite, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the U.S. Attorney General, will become president/CEO of the National Music Publishers' Assn. on Feb. 7, Billboard.biz has learned.

David Israelite, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the U.S. Attorney General, will become president/CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Assn. on Feb. 7, Billboard.biz has learned.

Israelite and NMPA chairman Irwin Robinson, who also serves as chairman/CEO of Famous Music, were not available for comment.

Israelite acted as personal adviser to John Ashcroft on legal, strategic and public affairs issues during the last four years. He also chaired the Department of Justice’s Intellectual Property Task Force; in that role, he led top investigators, examined the effectiveness of IP enforcement and explored ways to further protect copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets.

The NMPA, with more than 800 American publisher members, will need a strong representative in Washington this year. Congressional committees are expected to take up several bills that will affect copyrights and the various revenue streams derived from copyrights.

Prior to his work with the DOJ, Israelite was senior adviser to the National Republican Party chairman, responsible for campaign operations, government affairs and research. He also served as chief strategist, overseeing the committee’s candidate support programs, and as liaison to the presidential campaign.

Israelite will be based in Washington, D.C., sources say, reporting to the NMPA board, which comprises 18 executives from major and independent publishers.

Former NMPA president/CEO Ed Murphy, who served the trade group for 20 years, retired Dec. 31, 2004, when his contract expired.

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