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Sommers to lead American Petroleum Institute

American Investment Council CEO tapped as next head of $230 million-revenue oil industry group

May 2, 2018
By Walt Williams

American Investment Council CEO Mike Sommers will become the next top executive of the American Petroleum Institute following the departure of current CEO Jack Gerard later this year.

Sommers has led the $8 million-revenue AIC since 2016. His move to the $230 million-revenue APl catapults him to one of the most powerful lobbying positions in Washington, D.C.

“At a time of transformational progress when natural gas and oil are pioneering groundbreaking innovation, delivering tremendous environmental benefits, and leading long-term economic solutions, I look forward to continuing the work of API’s talented team and representing an industry that is directly enhancing the lives and improving opportunities for Americans and people around the world,” Sommers said in a statement.

Before joining AIC, Sommers was chief of staff for former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The congressional staffer had made a name for himself as a conservative with admirers on both sides of the aisle. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was among the lawmakers who praised AIC’s decision to hire Sommers in early 2016.

Darren Woods, chairman of API’s board of directors, pointed to Sommers’ managerial and political experience as a reason he got the job.

“As API approaches its 100th year, advances in our industry are establishing the U.S. as a leader in the world’s energy markets,” Woods said.  “Well-informed, thoughtful policies and regulations will be critical in maintaining this position. Mike is equipped to build on the industry’s successes and help guide our future.”

Sommers will begin his new role at API later this summer, according to the association. Gerard had previously announced he would not seek to renew his contract when it expires in August. The outgoing CEO will instead move to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was recently appointed to General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the top leadership positions in the church.