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Profile: Suzanne Clark, COO, US Chamber of Commerce

February 2, 2006

Being a chief operations officer is indisputably tough. In fact, some might say “the No. 2 position” is the most challenging in an organization. Ask Suzanne Clark about the dynamics of sitting at the COO’s desk and she’ll tell you that executives should get out of the office and network more often.

  Clark, who helps steer the world’s largest business federation, representing 3 million companies, says this is a lesson she learned early during her tenure as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  “For a long time, I felt I was more internal in the organization and Tom was more external,” says Clark, referring to Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue.

  Clark explains that she once believed she was being “efficient” with her time by skipping certain meetings or receptions where she felt her presence wasn’t needed.