Thomas M. Sullivan is vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Working with chambers of commerce and the U.S. Chamber’s nationwide network, Sullivan harnesses the views of small businesses and translates that grassroots power into federal policies that bolster free enterprise and reward entrepreneurship. He runs the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Council and the Mid-Markets Business Council, engaging those members on a regular basis to increase small business input and involvement in Chamber activities.
Previously, Sullivan was an attorney in the government relations practice of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, a law firm with a major East Coast presence from Tallahassee to Boston. Before rejoining Nelson Mullins, he served as general counsel for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell.
Sullivan represented several firm clients before Congress and federal agencies and built a small business advocacy platform that included the Coalition for Responsible Business Finance, a group of non-bank small business providers, and the Small Business Coalition for Regulatory Relief.
Sullivan served under President George W. Bush as the highest-ranking government official charged with exclusively advocating the views and needs of small business before government agencies and Congress. As chief counsel for advocacy at the U.S. Small Business Administration, he was directly involved in more than 100 regulatory and legislative matters, testified frequently before congressional committees, and was a spokesman on economic conditions and entrepreneurship. The hallmark of his tenure at SBA was a national legislative initiative guaranteeing that small business has a voice in state regulatory decisions.
Upon leaving government, Sullivan was named to the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center Advisory Board, and he serves on the board of directors of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a platform of programs and initiatives aimed at creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Sullivan earned his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1993 and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1989 from Boston College. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two sons.