NU Online News Service, Sept. 19, 1:55 p.m. – The American Association of Health Plans, Washington, has hired Dan Leonard to be its senior vice president for strategic planning and public affairs.

Leonard previously was executive vice president of Biznews24 Inc., Fairfax, Va., a Web-based video communications company.

Before joining Biznews24, Leonard worked as a senior vice president in the Washington offices of two public relations firms, Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates and Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.

Leonard has also been a spokesman for Jack Kemp, the Republican vice presidential nominee, at the 1996 Republican convention; the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee; and chief of staff for former Rep. Susan Molinari, R-Staten Island, N.Y.

Leonard started as a political reporter at WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H.