- Chief Communications Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Michelle Russo joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the world’s largest advocacy organization for business—as its first CCO in April 2019. Representing companies of all sizes and across all sectors, the Chamber is the voice of American business in Washington D.C., across the country and around the world.
In short order, Russo transformed and modernized the communications function to develop integrated strategies and data-driven campaigns that frame the public debate, elevate issues important to the business community and drive value for its members. Under her leadership, the Chamber has grown exponentially the reach and impact of its work.
She led the strategy for the Chamber’s CEO transition, the first in 24 years. During her tenure she also has overseen the modernization of the 110-year-old institution, refreshing the Chamber’s brand for the first time in half a century and launching a dynamic new website, doubling web traffic and introducing new audiences to the Chamber’s work. She has helped expand the organization’s global influence, with the Chamber hosting the CEO Summit held in conjunction with the Summit of the Americas in 2022 and creating the annual Global Forum. And on the most meaningful legislation impacting the business community—including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and more—under Russo’s leadership, the Chamber has shaped the public debate and forged consensus on Capitol Hill to deliver results for its members. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, the Chamber was cited in over 10,000 news stories, a new record.
Before joining the Chamber, Russo spent four years in London as executive vice president of Global Communications for leading media company Discovery, Inc., where she supervised cross-functional marketing and communications teams across the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. In addition, she led the top-to-bottom communications and public affairs strategy for the company’s groundbreaking first broadcast of the Olympic Winter Games across Europe. Prior to relocating to London, she served as the company’s senior vice president of Corporate Affairs & Communications in the U.S. There she built and managed Discovery’s reputation as a global media leader, including its debut as a publicly traded company.
Earlier in her career, Russo was a media consultant on two Presidential campaigns and served as the primary spokesperson on media issues at the Federal Communications Commission under both Democratic and Republican leadership. There she led public relations for major policy initiatives, including the relaxation of media ownership rules and regulatory reviews of industry mergers. She also served on the FCC crisis response team after the September 11 attacks.
Russo earned a Master of Arts in Communication Management from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, with an emphasis in business administration, from UCLA. She serves on the Board of Directors for So Others Might Eat as well as on the advisory boards of small private companies and nonprofits.