Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Selection and Hiring of New President & CEO Sandy K. Baruah

Jan 20, 2010, 10:15 ET from Detroit Regional Chamber

DETROIT, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber's Board of Directors announced the approval of the selection of Sandy K. Baruah as incoming President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, effective March 15, 2010.    


The Board's selection of Sandy Baruah is an indication of the Detroit Regional Chamber's commitment to realizing its role as a partner in addressing the challenges the region faces and focusing on the actions required to rebuild the economy of Southeast Michigan.

"Baruah's leadership experience in economic development, competitiveness, and addressing governance issues will further drive the Detroit region to innovate and diversify," stated Sandra Pierce, president and CEO, Charter One, Michigan and Chairman of the Board of directors of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Detroit Regional Chamber began a nationwide CEO search process in June of 2009 following the announcement of Richard Blouse's retirement, effective June 30, 2010.  Leslie Murphy, president of Murphy Consulting and past Chairman of the Board, led the search committee with a goal of finding the right person to lead the chamber and guide the Detroit region to economic recovery.

Murphy, on behalf of the committee, commented "Baruah is a strategic and visionary leader who brings competencies in economic development, public policy and coalition building.  We are confident in our recommendation of him as the approved candidate.  He will lead through innovative and action-oriented results."

Baruah currently serves as a Distinguished Fellow and Executive Vice President of the Council on Competitiveness ( based in Washington, D.C. Baruah leads their policy development team and is responsible for strategic planning.

The Council is the nation's premier group of leading corporate chief executives, university presidents, labor leaders, and high-ranking government officials dedicated to enhancing the nation's economic competitiveness and focus on innovation.

From 2008-2009 he led the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), reporting directly to the President of the United States. In this role Baruah 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.  

"I was attracted to the Detroit Regional Chamber because the tremendous opportunity to play a role in helping the world understand the competitive advantages Detroit has to offer," said Baruah. "The Detroit region is poised for a rebirth through innovation and entrepreneurship and I look forward to working collaboratively with the regions leaders to transform Detroit economic reality and public reputation."

Baruah and his family will relocate to the Detroit area in the coming months. Baruah serves on the board of directors for Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness and WavePoint Ventures, a venture capital firm, and an advisor to the Palladium Group, a management consultancy.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in the country. The chamber's mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships, valuable benefits and quality products and services to members. For more information please visit,

CONTACT: Jaime Patlevic


SOURCE Detroit Regional Chamber