Mr. Datri will replace Wallace Synder when he retires this fall after 15 years at the post.
Mr. Datri's election caps off an eight-month search process led by a committee including marketing executives from the NYTimes.com, Kellogg Co. and Leo Burnett Worldwide.
A Harvard law school graduate, Mr. Datri is currently a partner in the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, working in the government strategies practice group. Previously, Mr. Datri worked for more than a decade in senior positions in the U.S. Congress, including a stint as the executive director of the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2003 to 2005.
Mr. Datri also worked with the AAF during the founding of the Mosaic Center on Multiculturalism, which implements the foundation's diversity initiatives.
"I am honored to take on this new opportunity for leadership and service during a time of immense change in the advertising industry," Mr. Datri said in a statement. "The AAF has a large and diverse membership, including ad clubs, college chapters, national advertisers, ad agencies, television networks, newspaper and magazine publishers, and leading media companies and service providers. The AAF is an effective and dynamic organization, whose membership I look forward to serving."
The AAF represents more than 50,000 professionals in the ad industry.