Former Congressman and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and Volkswagen Group of America General Counsel Start Chamber Positions Sept. 19
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced the appointments of Evan Jenkins as Head of Congressional Affairs and David Detweiler as General Counsel, adding to the roster of best-in-class talent advocating for pro-growth policies on behalf of American businesses of all sizes across every sector of the economy.
“Evan and David are proven leaders with strong records of achievements and sterling credentials at the highest levels of government and in the corporate and legal worlds. Evan's acumen, knowledge and relationships will propel our advocacy on Capitol Hill and David's deep experience in the private sector will bolster the Chamber's legal expertise,” said Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “As the Chamber enters a new phase of growth, these leaders will bring new experiences and relationships to drive value and get results for American businesses large and small across the country and around the world.”
The Chamber is in its strongest financial position in more than a decade because of smart investments in its future, including talent, digital, brand, and advocacy. In the past few years, the positive impact of the Chamber’s legislative successes have been felt far and wide across our economy, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the historic infrastructure law. The Chamber also has record-setting achievements in the courts. These victories, coupled with the Chamber’s expertise and leadership across 300+ business priorities, have resulted in a greater than 90% retention rate of its largest members and the addition of members from across industries, with significant growth with small businesses and in technology and emerging industries.
Evan Jenkins, Head of Congressional Affairs
From 2015 to 2018, Jenkins served the 3rd congressional district of West Virginia in the House of Representatives. He was a member of the Appropriations Committee and served as the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. In 2018, Gov. Jim Justice appointed Jenkins to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and in 2021 he was selected as Chief Justice. Earlier this year he rejoined Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC as Of Counsel, and earlier in his career was Executive Director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, founded the West Virginia Medical Foundation, and served as the General Counsel of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
During his time in the West Virginia legislature, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce recognized Jenkins as the most pro-business legislator. He won 19 primary and general election victories as a candidate for legislative office at the state and federal levels and the judiciary. While serving as Justice and Chief Justice on his state Supreme Court, he authored over seventy majority opinions. Jenkins earned a B.S. degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University.
“I look forward to listening and working with my former colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle to advance the Chamber’s member-led priorities,” Jenkins said. “We sincerely appreciate those policymakers who share our pro-growth agenda and the many business leaders who take time out of their busy schedules to actively engage in our democratic process. Working together, we can help create an economy that supports business growth, prosperity, and more opportunity for every American to reach their maximum potential.”
“Evan was a solid, dedicated member of the House Appropriations Committee. He and I worked particularly close on tackling the opioid crisis which has had such a devastating impact in both our districts. The Chamber has made a wise decision to bring him on board and he’ll be very effective,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-05).
“Evan Jenkins is a great fit to help lead the government affairs program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His years of experience as a policymaker & Congressman, association executive, and Chief Justice of our state’s highest court will serve him and the Chamber well. Evan is a good friend who is widely respected for his character and integrity. He will be able to hit the ground running and I look forward to working closely with him,” said Rep. Carol Miller (WV-03).
“I think the Chamber has made a smart move bringing Evan on board. He was a great member of Congress who always worked hard and was a real team player. He has many friends in Congress and we’ll be happy to see him back and work with him moving forward,” said Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06).
In March, the Chamber announced that Jack Howard would take on a new role as Senior Vice President of Strategic Advocacy. Howard is responsible for helping maximize the Chamber’s advocacy tools to grow the number of pro-business champions on Capitol Hill and beyond.
David Detweiler, General Counsel
David Detweiler previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., as well as a board member of Electrify America, LLC. At Volkswagen, he oversaw legal operations including product regulatory and product litigation, environmental and emissions, corporate governance, human resources, sales and marketing as well as privacy, e-discovery and data governance matters. In addition, David was responsible for the U.S. aspects of Volkswagen’s Diesel resolution and the Department of Justice Monitorship that was successfully concluded in 2020. David was recognized as one of 100 Global Influencers as in-house counsel by Chambers and Partners in 2019 and for his outside counsel management by the National Law Journal in 2018.
In 2016, Detweiler joined Volkswagen from the Frankfurt office of Clifford Chance LLP, where he advised clients including Volkswagen AG, Siemens AG, Airbus S.A.S. and Infineon Technologies AG on capital markets and corporate transactions. Detweiler practiced with Rogers & Wells LLP in New York and London before the firm merged with Clifford Chance LLP in 2000. He became a partner of Clifford Chance LLP in its Frankfurt office in 2002.
Detweiler received his B.A. with high distinction from the University of Virginia and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was a Rotary Foundation Fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany and served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force before he returned to the University of Virginia for law school.
“I have been very fortunate to work with global business champions while in private practice and to help Volkswagen during its transformation, so I have a strong sense of the practical realities and needs of businesses, as well as their crucial role as innovators driving our economy forward,” Detweiler said. “I am delighted to join the Chamber and to support its evolution as the foremost advocate for business in the U.S.”
Both will assume their positions at the Chamber on Sept. 19.