Russell A. Rourke, former secretary of the Air Force, has been named president of Orion Group Ltd., an Arlington-based consulting firm founded by his former associate, Richard D. DeLauer.

DeLauer founded the aerospace consulting firm in 1984 after he left the Pentagon, where he was undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. He worked there with Rourke, who had served as assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs before being named secretary of the Air Force in 1985.

Rourke retired from his post last May and was succeeded by Edward C. Aldridge Jr. He has been working as president of The Ept Co. of Annapolis, a real estate development firm he founded with his wife, Judith.

"This is the first time in 29 years that I've worked full time in the private sector," Rourke said. "I'm excited to be back in the national defense business, especially because we're on the doorstep of solving some major international problems . . . . It's very rewarding."

Rourke, a native New Yorker who settled in the metropolitan area after graduating from Georgetown University's law school in 1959, has held numerous positions on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

During the 1970s, he was special assistant to President Gerald R. Ford, serving as the chief legislative liaison between the White House and Congress. Previously, he had served as administrative assistant to Rep. John R. Pillion (R-N.Y.) in 1960, Rep. Henry P. Smith (R-N.Y.) in 1965 and Rep. Harold S. Sawyer (R-Mich.) in 1977.

"I bring to the table my expertise in the coordination of the political policy end of defense contracting," Rourke said. "DeLauer is the technical genius."

While working as the assistant secretary of defense, Rourke had been a principal adviser to Defense Secretary Casper W. Weinberger on the department's relations with Congress. In his new position, he plans to use those skills to advise corporations on the procedural side of defense contracting, he said. He will advise companies on whether projects meet DOD requirements, how to get projects included in the DOD budget and how to get funding for projects from Congress, he said.

Other former Defense officials working for the firm include Ken Hollander, DeLauer's former military assistant, and George Donovan, former deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for research and development.

Rourke said he decided on Orion over other area consulting firms because of his personal friendship with DeLauer.

"Our expertise is well-matched," Rourke said. "And we are very close personal friends. We once figured out that we sat next to each other for about 2,000 of Casper Weinberger's daily meetings." BANKING, FINANCIAL

The Export-Import Bank of the United States has named Hal Sundstrom vice president of public affairs and publications. Sundstrom had been spokesman and public affairs director for the U.S. International Trade Commission. Prior to that, he was a foreign service information officer at U.S. embassies in Tokyo, Jakarta and Seoul.

Sovran Bank/DC National has named Kathleen W. Carr , Richard J. Dean , Thomas G. Durrer , Mary M. Miller and Susan J. Schumacher first vice presidents in the commercial banking division.

National Investment Advisors, a District-based financial planning company, has appointed Daniel H. Alper financial analyst for the firm. Alper had been a senior tax accountant with Marriott Corp.

The Student Loan Marketing Association has elected David A. Daberko a director of the corporation to succeed John F. Ruffle, who is vice chairman of Morgan Guaranty and Trust Co. of New York. Daberko is vice chairman of National City Corp. of Cleveland.

Prosperity Bank & Trust of Springfield has promoted Anna L. Handwork to senior vice president/cashier of the bank. Handwork joined the bank last June from Continental Bank & Trust of Springfield, where she was vice president/cashier.

First American Bank of Virginia has named James Ayers, Gary Clark and Robert Hawthorne executive vice presidents and has promoted Alan Drewer and Frank Kaulback to senior vice presidents of the bank.

Jefferson Bank and Trust Co. of Greenbelt, Md., has appointed Claude Cooper vice president of commercial lending and business development. Cooper joined the bank from Equitable Bank N.A. of Baltimore. COMMUNICATIONS

Drew Babb has joined Soghigian & Macuga Advertising of the District as partner and executive vice president. He had headed his own agency, Drew Babb & Co.

Abramson Associates Inc. of the District has promoted William Costello to senior vice president of marketing and Jerry Caplan to vice president of client services.

Sally Price has joined the Alexandria advertising company, Burchette & Co., as vice president of client services.

Former congressman Eugene A. Chappie (R-Calif.) has joined the District office of the public relations firm of Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

Campaigns & Elections magazine has hired Susan Smith Feaster as vice president.

Roy B. Pinchot has joined Stackig, Sanderson and White Inc. of McLean to direct the firm's direct response marketing division.

Sheila Moore Campbell, president and coowner of Rosenthal, Greene & Campbell, has been named to the board of Affiliated Advertising Agencies International.

Peter Miller has been promoted to publisher of Remodeling magazine. Remodeling is published by Hanley-Wood Inc., a local company. COMPUTERS

Computer Sciences Corp. of Falls Church has appointed Ronald R. Ross vice president of the systems division. Ross will oversee the company's work for government intelligence agencies. GOVERNMENT

The U.S. Postal Service has appointed Thomas E. Leavey assistant postmaster general for international affairs. He succeeds Walter E. Duka, who is leaving the postal service to enter private business. Prior to the appointment, Leavey was director of operations and distribution networks in the mail processing department and general manager of the international mail processing division.

Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) has named Martha DiSario press secretary. DiSario succeeds Dale Butland, who will move to Columbus, Ohio, to become Glenn's state director. HEALTH CARE

Robin J. Thomashauer has been appointed manager for technical services and public affairs at Kaiser Permanente Health Care Program. Thomashauer joined the company in 1983 as the medical facility administrator for the Kensington Medical Center.

Francine Jupiter, president of the Health Claim Service of Alexandria, has been named a consultant to the Mount Vernon Hospital Health Insurance Claims Assistance Program.

The Center for Corporate Health Promotion has hired Cat Taylor as vice president of operations. Taylor joined the firm from CDP Associates, where she had been vice president of health care consulting. HOTEL, FOOD SERVICES

Marriott Corp. of Bethesda has appointed Carl L. Dunaway senior vice president of marketing for its In-Flite Services division. Dunaway was appointed vice president of resource development for In-Flite Services in 1983.

The Radisson Park Terrace Hotel of the District has named John Blazon director of restaurants and G. Bradley Weesner food and beverage director. INDUSTRIAL

Fairchild Industries has named Terry C. Tessein manager of outside sales. Tessein will work to expand the company's activities in the computer service business. INSURANCE

Geico Corp. has promoted Olza M. Nicely to executive vice president of the Government Employees Insurance Co., the corporation's largest subsidiary. Nicely joined the company in 1961 as an endorsement clerk. He most recently was senior vice president of the corporation.

The Union Labor Life Insurance Co. of the District has named the following directors: Lenore Miller, president of The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; John J. Barry, president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; William A. Duval, president of the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades of the U.S. & Canada; and James J. Norton, president of the Graphic Communications International Union. PROFESSIONAL

Peter Dunston has been appointed president of the Saint Phalle International Group, a Washington consulting firm. The company assists multinational corporations in strategic planning, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Dunston has been vice president of planning and acquisitions for Martin Marietta Corp. of Bethesda.

MMM Design Group, a local architectural and engineering firm, has named C.W. Gilliam vice chairman of the board and chairman of the company's international operations, Thomas E. Sluiter vice president and director of design, John Carr assistant vice president and principal designer, and Alan Calegary project manager.

Robert B. Pirie Jr., executive vice president and chief operating officer of Essex Corp. of Alexandria, will assume the additional responsibilities of president of the company. Pirie succeeds Frank E. Manning, who will continue as chairman and chief executive officer.

Joyce C. McCann, an environmental scientist, has joined ICF/Clement Associates Inc. of the District as a principal science adviser for the Western operations.

Copeland Krieger Associates Inc., a local architectural and design firm, has named John C. Carhart director of architecture.

CHK Architects and Planners Inc. of Silver Spring has named Lara Todorov director of marketing. Todorov joined the company from The White Budd Van Ness Partnership in Houston, Tex., where she was director of marketing. RETAIL, WHOLESALE

Stewart Sandwiches Inc. of Norfolk has elected George A. Brown, former president of Gwaltney of Smithfield Ltd., to its board of directors. TRANSPORTATION

William C. Pitt III, president and chief executive officer of CSX Hotels Inc., has taken over the duties of chairman and chief executive officer of Rockresorts Inc. CSX Hotels and Rockresorts are business units of the CSX Properties Group, a major subsidiary of the transportation giant CSX Corp. of Richmond.

Presidential Airways recently has named William Dennett Stockbridge senior vice president and chief operations officer. Stockbridge has been vice president of maintenance and engineering for the airline.