Effective March 15, Sandy K. Baruah will serve as president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, succeeding Dick Blouse who will retire on June 30.

Baruah served as the last administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration under President George W. Bush. He was responsible for SBA’s $18 billion small business loan portfolio, helping to shape the federal governance response to the 2008 credit crisis and supporting the government’s efforts to provide assistance to the automotive industry. 

Baruah also served as the U.S. assistant secretary of commerce, with the responsibility of leading the Economic Development Administration. He is credited with helping to transform the agency into one of the top-performing federal agencies.

He currently serves as a distinguished fellow and executive vice president of the Council on Competitiveness (compete.org) based in Washington, D.C. Baruah leads their policy development team and is responsible for strategic planning.

Sandra Pierce, president and CEO, Charter One, Michigan, and chair of the board of directors of the Detroit Regional Chamber, said Baruah’s leadership experience in economic development, competitiveness and addressing governance issues will further drive the Detroit region to innovate and diversify.

Leslie Murphy, president of Murphy Consulting and past chairman of the board, who led the search committee, said Baruah will lead through innovative and action-oriented results.

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