The Motion Picture Association of America said Tuesday that former Connecticut senator Christopher Dodd will become the new chairman and chief executive of the film and television studio lobbying group.

Dodd, who ended his fifth and last term as senator in January, will take over as head lobbyist of the MPAA on March 17. He said the growing issue of piracy would be a major focus for him. “Protecting this great American export will be my highest priority,” he said in a statement.

Dodd, a Democrat, was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and co-author of the financial reform law enacted after the mortgage industry meltdown of 2007. He also was active in drafting the federal health care reform legislation and was a leading member of the Senate’s foreign relations committee.

“We are truly fortunate that Dodd will bring his stature and talent to support the creative efforts of our filmmakers and the many people who work in our industry, here and around the world,” Jim Gianopulos, Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman, said in the announcement.

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