Since January 2019, Capt. Joe DePete has served as the eleventh president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), which represents more than 61,000 professional airline pilots in the United States and Canada and is the largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization in the world. Capt. DePete serves as the Association’s chief executive and administrative officer and spokesperson.
As ALPA’s president, Capt. DePete has emerged as a leading voice in the airline industry in matters of safety, security, and the future of the profession. Bringing the unique perspective of airline pilots, Capt. DePete deftly evolves discussion beyond identifying challenges to defining real solutions. By using personal experiences, current events, and real-life stories to stress the importance of dignity of work and collaboration within the industry, he is recognized for bridging the gap between industries that do not often find themselves on the same side of issues.
Building upon his role as ALPA’s first vice president (2015–2018), Capt. DePete continues to lend his professional expertise by serving on several industry committees, including the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen Advisory Committee and Drone Advisory Committee. Additionally, he leads an aviation industry initiative to collaborate with the commercial space industry on operational integration and safety enhancements.
Capt. DePete has been a long-standing advocate for airline pilots and the labor movement. His activism as a FedEx pilot underscored his fundamental belief in the importance of a collective voice. In 1995, he was the sole representative for U.S. airline labor at the Asia-Pacific Economic Council Transportation Ministerial Meeting held at the U.S. State Department. Through ALPA’s affiliation with the AFL-CIO, Capt. DePete is a member of the Executive Council, the International Committee, and the Legislative and Policy Committee, using this platform to amplify workers’ rights and highlight the critical role of unity throughout the United States, Canada, and across the globe.
A graduate of St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, DePete proudly served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he flew Lockheed KC-130s for Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron #252 while stationed at Cherry Point, N.C.
Capt. DePete is also a certified investment portfolio manager, having passed the Series 65 (NASAA) Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam. He resides in Louisville, Ky., with his wife, Lauri.