WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC or Council) announced today that Mark Sutton, Chairman and CEO of International Paper, has been unanimously approved by its Board of Directors to be the next Chairman of the USRBC. Mr. Sutton assumed the Chairmanship at the USRBC Annual Meeting in San Francisco on November 10-12, 2016.
"Mark understands the strategic importance of U.S.-Russia commercial relations and the imperative of business-to-business engagement between Russians and Americans," said Dan Russell, President and CEO of the USRBC. "The U.S.-Russia Business Council is delighted that its new Chairman leads a company with a proud trajectory in Russia. International Paper is a major investor in Russia and has partnered with Ilim Group, the largest integrated paper and pulp manufacturer in Russia, to run an exemplary joint venture. International Paper models excellent corporate practices in Russia, and we look forward to Mark's leadership of the USRBC."
"The U.S.-Russia Business Council is a respected, balanced voice on bilateral economic issues and I am delighted to be assuming the Chairmanship of this organization," said Mark Sutton.
Separately, Mr. Russell thanked Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Arconic, Inc., for his dedicated service and leadership of the Council. "Klaus' enthusiasm energized U.S.-Russia commercial relations from the early days of the Obama Administration. His steady leadership and commitment to keeping private sector relationships on track during challenging times have been key to the U.S.-Russia Business Council successes," said Mr. Russell.
The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit trade association of approximately 160 companies committed to offering a non-partisan open platform for discussion and advancement of U.S.-Russia commercial relations.USRBC actively seeks Russia's continued integration into the rules-based global economy. Learn more at www.usrbc.org.
International Paper began its operations in Russia in 1998 with the acquisition of the Svetogorsk pulp and paper mill, one of Russia's largest pulp and paper mills. In Russia, International Paper produces and markets office and offset papers, liquid packaging board and bleached chemical thermo-mechanical pulp. International Paper has invested more than$ 740 million in the upgrade and modernization of the Svetogorsk pulp and paper mill operations. The company's Russian footprint also includes a 50:50 joint venture with the Russian-based Ilim Group, the largest integrated paper and pulp manufacturer in Russia. The joint venture has funded a $1.2 billion capital expansion projects at Bratsk and Koryazhma. International Paper is a responsible investor committed to sustainable forestry and other environmental and social projects which benefit the Russian community.
Mark Sutton was named CEO of International Paper in 2014 and became Chairman of the Board in January 2015. Immediately prior to becoming CEO, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for leading and running the company's global businesses. Mr. Sutton has been with the company his entire career, joining International Paper as an engineer at the Pineville, Louisiana mill in 1984. He has worked in a variety of senior management positions, including Senior Vice President of Industrial Packaging; Senior Vice President, Printing and Communications Papers - The Americas; Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain; and Vice President of Corporate Strategic Planning. He also worked in International Paper's European businesses, first as Director of European Corrugated Packaging Operations and then Vice President and General Manager responsible for all corrugated packaging operations across seven countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University.