Chamber of Commerce announces new communications chief

Chamber of Commerce announces new communications chief
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce named Michelle Russo chief communications officer, effective April 9. 

"This is a new elevated position," Eric Wohlschlegel, acting vice president of media and external communications, told The Hill. "Russo will oversee 25 professional staff including the media, digital and strategy teams."

The powerful pro-business lobby lost its entire press team recently after Blair Latoff Holmes, former vice president of media and external communications, left in January.

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Its interim media team has been led by Wohlschlegel, who led the Chamber’s media team for nine years before moving to the American Petroleum Institute.

Russo has been the executive vice president of global communications for Discovery, Inc., for the past four years and was based on London. She led communications for the company throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.  

Before that point, Russo was Discovery’s senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications in the U.S. and served as the Federal Communications Commission’s primary spokeswoman on media regulation.

“Michelle’s experience in the public and private sectors will be instrumental in helping the Chamber fully engage our vast network of businesses across the country and drive action in Washington,” Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We look forward to Michelle bringing her strong business acumen, international experience, and focus on innovation to lead our communications team into the future.”

The Chamber conducted an international search with the management consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates before choosing Russo.