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Former Sen. Dodd Named Chairman of Motion Picture Association of America

Chris Dodd

Jan. 21: Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd speaks during the wake for R. Sargent Shriver at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington. (AP)

Former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut is taking over as head of the Motion Picture Association of America.

The group on Tuesday named Dodd as its new chairman and chief executive officer. Dodd begins his new job March 17.

"I am truly excited about representing the interests of one of the most creative and productive industries in America, not only in Washington but around the world,” said Sen. Dodd said in a statement. "The major motion picture studios consistently produce and distribute the most sought after and enjoyable entertainment on earth. Protecting this great American export will be my highest priority."

"Senator Dodd is a battle-tested leader whose reputation as a strong leader on major issues facing this country has prepared him to serve as the Ambassador for the movie business. I, along with my colleagues, agree that he was worth the wait," Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jim Gianopulos said in a statement.

Dodd served for three decades in the Senate and played a key role in overseeing passage of the sweeping financial reform package while serving as head of the Senate banking panel.

Dodd succeeds Dan Glickman, a former Kansas congressman and Secretary of Agriculture who took over the job in 2004 from Jack Valenti, who died in 2007.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.