Pledges to be “an outspoken advocate for the interests of America’s small businesses”
Highly experienced trade association executive and business advocate Juanita Duggan was named today as the new president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the trade association that represents more than 325,000 small and independent business owners. The announcement followed a unanimous vote Tuesday by the NFIB board of directors.
“I am delighted that Juanita will be our new leader,” said NFIB Board of Directors Chairman Steve Schramm. “She is a strong and tireless advocate, and the members of the board and I are confident she will make a superb leader of the NFIB – both continuing and enhancing our organization’s rich legacy of championing issues of importance to American’s small businesses.”
Board member and chair of the search committee, Tom Bryce, said, “Juanita’s enthusiasm for the mission of the NFIB – promoting and protecting the right of our members to own, operate, and grow their businesses – is positively infectious. We had many excellent candidates for the position, and Juanita will be a great fit for the organization. We are extremely pleased that she will be joining us.”
Duggan said, “I am honored and deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead this country’s premiere business trade association. The next few years will be critical to the future of America’s small businesses as we wrestle with the issues of tax reform, ever expanding government regulation, and the continuing challenges created by Obamacare. These are epic issues for us, and I will be proud to fight these battles on behalf of America’s small businesses.
“I’m passionate about small businesses. My grandfather started a family business 100 years ago, my whole family worked there, and it is still in existence today. So I understand the obstacles that business owners and operators face. I won’t hesitate to be an outspoken advocate for the interests of America’s small businesses.”
Currently the president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, Duggan has extensive Washington advocacy experience. The president and CEO of multiple Washington trade associations, she also served in the White House during both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.
She will succeed current NFIB President and CEO Donald A. (Dan) Danner in February 2016. After 22 years with the NFIB, seven of them in the top position, he announced in June that he would be retiring.
Danner said today, “I have known Juanita Duggan for more than 25 years and her energy and enthusiasm are unmatched. Coupled with her broad experience, she is uniquely qualified to lead NFIB going forward.”
Board Chairman Schramm said, “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dan Danner for his superb work at the NFIB. Dan devoted the majority of his working life to the NFIB and the staunch support of its causes, and his leadership as CEO for the past seven years has been absolutely outstanding. Dan leaves the organization with a very strong foundation upon which the NFIB will continue to build and we are deeply grateful for his service.”
In addition to her current position, Duggan is a former president and CEO of both the American Forest and Paper Association and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. She was policy director at the lobbying firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Shreck; vice president for federal relations for the Philip Morris Companies, Inc., during the extraordinary period of the National Tobacco Settlement; and executive vice president for government affairs and communications for the National Food Processors Association. From 1987-1989, she was initially special assistant to President Reagan for public liaison, domestic policy, and then special assistant to President Reagan and executive secretary, Domestic Policy Council. Duggan was later special assistant to President George H.W. Bush for Cabinet affairs in 1989-1990. She earlier served as a U.S. Senate committee staff member.
Duggan, a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, has served on multiple boards, including The Ripon Society, The Fund for American Studies, The City Club of Washington, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, and The Bryce Harlow Foundation, which she chaired.