Suzanne Clark, the top aide to longtime U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, will take over that leadership position, the powerful pro-business lobby announced Wednesday.
Donohue plans to stay on as CEO through June 2022, and then the board will begin a global search for its next chief executive. Clark is currently the Chamber’s senior executive vice president.
The Chamber has been undergoing changes recently involving rethinking its close alliance with Republicans as it differs from the White House on multiple topics from trade to immigration issues.
When the Chamber's influential top lobbyist, Bruce Josten, left in 2016, Clark was promoted to lead the team and became first-in-line behind Donohue.
Donohue has been president and CEO since 1997. Before the Chamber, he was president and CEO of the American Trucking Association for 13 years. He previously was deputy assistant postmaster general of the United States.
Clark rejoined the organization in 2014. She left her previous post as chief operating officer in 2007, was president of National Journal Group until 2010 and then led the financial information firm, Potomac Research Group.
“Securing the dynamic leadership of Tom and Suzanne ensures the Chamber can focus on near-term political priorities and long-term sustainability. To ensure businesses can create jobs and economic prosperity we need Congress to support fair trade, infrastructure improvements and immigration reform,” Tom Wilson, chairman of the board and CEO and president of The Allstate Corporation, said in a press release.
The Chamber lost its entire press team earlier this year, sparking concern from outsiders about the health of the organization. In April, Michelle Russo came on as chief communications officer, which was a newly elevated position.
In March, Clark donated $4,500 to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Ky.), in two separate donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the 2018 cycle, she didn’t give to any candidates.