Carolyn Cawley is president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Foundation is the nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million member companies. Cawley oversees the Center for Education and Workforce, the Corporate Citizenship Center, and the Foundation’s emerging issues portfolio. Under her leadership, the Foundation has launched new signature programs including the America Working Forward initiative to bring jobs to distressed communities, the NextGen program to engage M.B.A. students, and the Fast Forward event series to showcase innovators that are changing the way we live and do business.
Cawley joined the Chamber Foundation in 2015 with more than 20 years’ experience in both public service and business. She was a partner at the communications consultancy FleishmanHillard and led some of the firm’s largest global accounts. As chair of the public sector practice, she helped governments, foundations, and NGOs sharpen their focus and engage stakeholders on issues ranging from public health to women’s economic development. In the Washington office, she was a member of the Management Committee, group leader for public affairs, and managing director of new business development.
Earlier in her career, she served on the speechwriting staff for President George H.W. Bush and later as an aide to California Governor Pete Wilson. Her husband’s military career took them to the Middle East, where she launched an English-language business magazine in Egypt’s newly privatizing economy.
Raised abroad, Cawley moved to the U.S. to attend the University of California, earning a B.A. in political science.