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  • American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President & CEO Susan Neely Announces Retirement From Association Leadership

    March 13, 2024 by ACLI

    WASHINGTON – American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President & CEO Susan Neely announced today that she will retire from association leadership at the end of 2024.

    “Susan brought vision, strength, and purpose to her leadership of ACLI. She leaves a legacy of impact and inspiration that will serve our industry for years to come,” said Paul A. Quaranto, Jr., Chairman, CEO and President of Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company and Chair of the ACLI Board of Directors. “On behalf of the Board, I applaud Susan’s achievements and recognize that they were driven by her deep understanding and belief in the essential role this industry plays for families and communities across the country. Above all, we congratulate Susan, celebrate her remarkable talent, treasure her friendship, and wish her well.”

    “I am grateful to the ACLI Board of Directors for the opportunity to lead this organization and further the industry’s essential mission to help people build financial security for themselves and those they love, from one generation to the next,” Ms. Neely said. “Our accomplishments in support of families, workers and retirees have reinforced my strong belief in the ability of associations like ACLI to be force multipliers that unify members and address society-level challenges.”

    The executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles is leading the process of finding highly qualified candidates for consideration as the organization’s next CEO.

    In her 30-year career as an association executive, including six for ACLI, and 20 as a CEO, Ms. Neely has been widely recognized as one of the most influential in association leadership. She is a two-time trade association CEO of the year, one of Washingtonian’s “most influential people” and “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.” In 2022, she received the Key Award from the American Society of Association Executives for exceptional leadership and deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations.

    “It’s been thrilling and rewarding to be a part of ACLI and other associations, building consensus and helping forge policies that have a positive impact on communities and people nationwide,” Ms. Neely said.

     In 2018, ACLI’s Board of Directors named her President and CEO of the association. In this role, she has steered public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s members and the 90 million families who rely on the life insurance industry for financial protection and retirement security. ACLI members support financial protection and security through life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, reinsurance, and dental, vision and other supplemental benefits.

    An outcome-driven CEO for ACLI, Ms. Neely spearheaded organizational reforms and led the establishment of programming to communicate the vital role life insurers play in helping Americans navigate financial shocks through all stages of life. Her accomplishments include overseeing efforts in support of two significant bills that brought needed reforms to the retirement security system. SECURE, which was enacted in 2019, and SECURE 2.0, enacted in 2022, greatly expanded workers’ access to employer-based retirement plans and options for generating lifetime income through annuities.

    During her tenure, ACLI sought implementation of a best interest standard that enhances safeguards for annuity consumers. To date, these consumer protections have garnered bipartisan support in the 45 states where they have been adopted. Over 90% of Americans now live in a state that has adopted the best interest standard.

    Ms. Neely also navigated ACLI through the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the industry as it fulfilled its financial security mission to policyholders like never before. Life insurers paid out a record $90 billion in death benefits to beneficiaries in 2020 followed by a new record $100 billion in 2021.

    In addition to her ACLI service, Ms. Neely has been President of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) since November 2022. Through its 42 member associations and 2 observer associations, GFIA represents insurers and reinsurers in 70 countries.

    Before joining ACLI, Ms. Neely headed the American Beverage Association. Before that, Ms. Neely was special assistant to President George W. Bush, creating the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11 as the first DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. She served in leadership roles for the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Health Insurance Association of America.

    Prior to association leadership, Ms. Neely was a senior advisor to two members of Congress as well as Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa. She was one of the first women nationally to manage a statewide political campaign. Years later, Ms. Neely was elected as the first woman president of both the 105-year-old Washington Rotary Club and the 113-year-old University Club of Washington, D.C.

    Originally Posted at ACLI on March 12, 2024 by ACLI.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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