About the Economic Club
Organized in 1986 as a non-profit, non-partisan corporation, the Economic Club was established in recognition of the unique and critical role that Washington plays in the national and world economies and because of the Washington metropolitan area's increasing economic diversity and importance as a center of business activity. One goal of the founders was to create a forum from which eminent global leaders from all different sectors of life could share their insights about major issues. Secondly, the founders wanted to build an organization that would generate and promote a greater sense of community among the area's top executives, regional and national government officials, and members of the diplomatic community.
Since that time, the Economic Club of Washington has evolved into a vibrant mechanism for connecting prominent business leaders in the Washington, D.C., area. It also has become an influential forum for the exploration of national and global public policy issues, ably fulfilling the dual mission for which it was formed.
Today, the Economic Club is the premier forum for leaders. The list of speakers who have addressed the Club includes a President of the United States, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, heads of the Federal Reserve Board, every Secretary of the Treasury since 1986, other Cabinet members and government officials, and leaders of Fortune 100 corporations.
The Economic Club hosts approximately 10 signature events a year, generally organized around a breakfast, lunch or dinner event. An average of 350 members and guests attend each meeting with attendance for some events surpassing 600.
Economic Club members are Washington area company CEOs and CFOs, entrepreneurs, investment professionals, government affairs professionals, lawyers, accountants, and local government officials. Currently, the Club has more than 700 members.
In addition to the signature events presenting featured speakers, the Economic Club sponsors other programs that draw the metropolitan region’s business community closer together and provide opportunities for area business leaders to share information and learn from each other about unique industry trends. The Club also is committed to giving back to the greater community in which our members live and work. Members actively support education initiatives that annually award $30,000 in doctoral candidate fellowships. The David M. Rubenstein/Economic Club of Washington Scholarship Program presents nearly $500,000 each year in college scholarships to seniors graduating from Washington, D.C., public schools.
The Economic Club of Washington was formed in the mid-1980s to fill a significant gap. At the time, the Washington business community was in the midst of a major transformation. A formerly compact community centered in the District of Columbia was diversifying and decentralizing. A growing recognition of the advantages for businesses to be located near or maintain offices or operations near the nation’s capital fueled an explosion of growth in the region. Evolving business and social dynamics fed the fire. The burgeoning technological revolution, acquisitions and mergers, deregulation, suburban sprawl, the emergence of a global economy, and diversification of the workforce contributed to a disbursement of a formerly close-knit business district.
Area leaders were quick to recognize the value an organization such as the Economic Club could have in drawing closer together a dispersed, diversified, and expanding business community. One of the first promoters was Robert Linowes, a prominent D.C.-area lawyer and civic leader who became the Economic Club’s first President. Other business leaders who were enthusiastic supporters and became the first officers of the Club were Donald E. Smiley, Vice President of Exxon Corporation, who served as Vice President; Nancy Clark Reynolds, a Partner with the public affairs firm of Wexler, Reynolds, Harrison and Schule, Inc., who was Vice President for Programs; Edwin K. Hoffman, Chairman of the Board, Woodward and Lothrop, Inc., who was Vice President for Membership; Stephen D. Harlan, Managing Partner, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, who was Treasurer, and Kenneth R. Sparks, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal City Council who served as Secretary.
The stated purpose of the Club’s founders for establishing the Economic Club was to form a group that would serve to recognize “the unique and critical role that Washington plays in the world economy and of the area’s increasing economic diversity and importance as a center of business activity.”
Since its founding, the Economic Club has grown steadily and expanded its influence internationally. Starting with just over 100 members in its first year, the Economic Club now has more than 700 members. It is a highly valued forum for peer networking and interaction as well as thought-provoking insight into the complex issues confronting the United States and world today.
David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Carol Melton, Executive Vice President, Global Public Policy, Time Warner, Inc.
VICE PRESIDENTS - Programs
Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer, U.S. News & World Report
Eric A. Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens USA
VICE PRESIDENTS - Membership
Christopher G. Caine, President and CEO, Mercator XXI, LLC
David Geanacopoulos, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
VICE PRESIDENT - Education
Dr. Jeffrey A. Eisenach, Senior Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting
VICE PRESIDENT - Finance
John C. Lee, IV
VICE PRESIDENT - Audit
Gary Tabach, Managing Partner, Greater Washington, Deloitte & Touche LLP
VICE PRESIDENTS - Nominating
David Pollin, Co-Founder and President, The Buccini/Pollin Group
Katharine B. Weymouth
VICE PRESIDENT - Resource Development
Hon. Dave McCurdy, President and CEO, American Gas Association
Wendelin A. White, Co-Managing Partner, Washington, D.C. Office, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Stuart L. Solomon, Managing Director, Accenture
Mary Brady, The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
GLOBAL INITIATIVE TASK FORCE
Eric A. Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens USA
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gina Adams, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, FedEx Corporation
Meredith Baker, President and CEO, CTIA, The Wireless Association
Brian Berry, Executive Vice President, Monday Properties
Katherine Brittain Bradley, President, CityBridge Foundation
Toni Cook Bush, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Government Affairs, News Corp.
Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services
Tim Coughlin*, Managing Director, Edgemoor Investment Advisors, Inc.
Christopher M. Crane, President and Chief Executive Officer, Exelon Corporation
Jack Davies, Owner, Monumental Sports and Entertainment
Margaret Dunning, Managing Partner, Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company
Jordan Goldstein, Managing Director, Gensler
Barry M. Granger
Michael Harreld, President, PNC Bank of Greater Washington
Kim Horn, Regional President, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States
Timothy Keating, Senior Vice President of Government Operations, Boeing
Dr. Steven Knapp, President, The George Washington University
Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks
Robert Milkovich, Chief Executive Officer, First Potomac Realty Trust
Hon. Susan Molinari, Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations, Americas, Google Inc.
Geoff Morrell, SVP, US Communications & External Affairs, BP plc
Dr. Kurt Newman, President & CEO, Children's National Medical Center
Linda D. Rabbitt, Chairman and CEO, Rand Construction Corporation
Todd S. Rich, Partner, The JBG Companies
Kenneth A. Samet, President and CEO, MedStar Health
Jonathan W. Witter, President, Retail and Direct Banking, Capital One Bank
Candida P. Wolff, Executive Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Citigroup Inc.
Jeff Wood, Market President, Bank of America
*Ex-Officio Board Members