Christopher Dodd is slated to give his first public address as head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America at this year’s CinemaCon confab.

The recently named MPAA chairman and CEO will join NATO prexy-CEO John Fithian to deliver the State of the Industry address March 29 at the exhib confab, which runs March 28-31.

The opening address historically has been jointly presented by both org toppers. Bob Pisano, who served as interim CEO before Dodd’s appointment, was originally slated to join Fithian.

“I could not be more delighted that Senator Dodd has chosen to begin his tenure at the MPAA with an address to the exhibition industry at the very first CinemaCon,” Fithian said in a statement. “NATO and MPAA have a long history of working together in the best interests of the movie industry, and Senator Dodd’s appearance at NATO’s official convention is a powerful symbol of that partnership.”

Dodd was tapped as MPAA head early this month. He represented Connecticut for 30 years, co-authored the financial reform bill and played a major role in health care reform.