A marathon three-hour interview with FedEx founder, chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith is the seventh installment of the International Aviation Law Institute’s “Conversations with Aviation Leaders” oral history project. Conducted by Professor Brian F. Havel, the institute's director, the wide-ranging interview is the first in the series to explore in depth the regulatory environment governing air cargo transport, as opposed to air passenger transport. Particular attention is devoted to the process by which industry interacts with government officials in pursuit of regulatory changes on both the domestic and international level.
Fred Smith famously formulated the idea of FedEx for an undergraduate economics class at Yale University. FedEx was the world's first overnight express delivery company, and is the largest in the world.
Recorded at the FedEx television studio in Memphis, Tennessee, the interview will soon be posted for viewing alongside the previous six interviews on the institute's website. The “Conversations” project is developing a record of the legal and policy history of the airline industry during the age of global deregulation, as told through the voices and memories of its participants. The project is a valuable resource for the large community of students, scholars, and policymakers interested in understanding the airline industry’s role in the broader deregulatory movement that continues to transform economic policy today.