- President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Carolyn Cawley is president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As the nonprofit affiliate of the Chamber, the Foundation harnesses the power of business to create solutions for communities across America and the world.
Cawley leads multiple teams united in the belief that business is an essential problem solver. Under her leadership, the Foundation modernized its brand and purpose, and continues to launch national initiatives in partnership with Fortune 100 companies and leading philanthropies. These include the Civic Trust, which is elevating civics education and understanding of democracy and free enterprise, and Readiness for Resilience, which is helping thousands of small business owners prepare for disasters. Now in its fifth year, the Fast Forward event series is a premiere showcase for innovators and entrepreneurs who are changing the way we live and do business. Cawley also oversees the Chamber and Foundation’s shared “America Works” workforce initiative, including the expansion and commercialization of the Talent Pipeline Management® initiative.
During the pandemic, her team recognized the Foundation’s unique ability to “bundle for impact” and convened America’s largest companies to deliver business-saving grants and life-saving medical equipment in communities at home and abroad. The Foundation’s award-winning Path Forward program educated millions of Americans on business recovery and return to work, and its childcare resources helped elevate the national conversation on supporting parents in the workplace. In 2023, she launched the Foundation’s first incubator to speed the exploration of frontier issues and test new solutions for the next decade of challenges.
Cawley is a member of Fast Company’s Impact Council, the International Women’s Forum, and the Urban Institute’s WorkRise advisory board.
She joined the U.S. Chamber Foundation in 2015 with more than 20 years of experience in both public service and business. She was a partner at the communications consultancy FleishmanHillard, where she led some of the firm’s largest global accounts and chaired the global public sector practice. 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 Navy career took them to the Middle East, where she launched an English-language business magazine in Egypt’s newly privatized economy.
Raised abroad, Cawley moved to the U.S. to attend the University of California, earning a B.A. in political science and international relations.