Biography | Speeches | Testimony | Articles, Op-Eds, Letters to the Editor, Videos and Podcasts
Susan K. Neely is a change maker. She has a track record of transforming industries, building
consensus, and using bipartisan partnerships to revolutionize business and politics.
As President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), Neely leads an industry whose mission is to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. ACLI’s member companies represent 95 percent of industry assets and provide financial security products and services to 90 million families.
To that end, Neely has forged groundbreaking initiatives and partnerships on tax and retirement security policy, including passage of the SECURE Act in 2019, the first retirement security legislation passed in a decade. Under her leadership, ACLI launched the Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative to tackle issues like addressing systemic inequality and closing savings gaps. Life insurers are championing the adoption of enhanced protections that act in consumers’ best interest.
Before joining ACLI, Neely led the American Beverage Association, where she helped companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola navigate the sugar wars by forging unlikely partnerships with President Clinton’s Global Initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign. Before that, Neely was special assistant to President George W. Bush on the frontlines of creating the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11, serving as the first DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.
Prior to association leadership, Neely was a senior advisor to two members of Congress as well as Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa. She was one of the first women nationally to manage a statewide campaign.
Neely is widely recognized as one of the most influential people 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.” Neely also received the “Luminary Award” from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance for lifetime dedication to gender parity, diversity and inclusion.
She is a past chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 of the largest trade associations and the American Society of Association Executives. Neely also 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.
Neely is Vice President of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations, serves on the B20 Financial & Infrastructure Task Force, and recently joined the American Council for Capital Formation’s Board of Advisors. She also serves as vice chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and as a director on the board of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation.
A native of Iowa, Neely holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and French civilization from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University. She is the mother of two adult children, Eve and Ben.
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- “Building on Bipartisan Retirement Legislation: How Can Congress Help?” Statement for the Record to the Senate Finance Committee's hearing, 07/28/2021
- "Examining Pathways to Build a Stronger, More Inclusive Retirement System" Statement for the Record Submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, 06/23/2021
- ACLI Testimony at NAIC Special Committee on Race and Insurance on November 18, 2020 by Susan Neely
- ACLI Testimony at Public Hearing on Massachusett's Fiduciary Rule Proposed Amendments on January 7, 2020 by Paul A. Quaranto, Chairman, CEO and President, Boston Mutual and Susan Neely, President and CEO, ACLI
- "Paid Family Medical Leave: Helping Workers and Employers Succeed" Statement for the Record Submitted to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, 05/08/2019
Articles, Op-Eds, Letters to the Editor, Videos and Podcasts
- To Deliver Paid Leave, Pair Proven Public Policy With Private-Market Results, Op-ed in The Hill, 03/19/21
- It's Time To Priortize Caregiving, America, Op-ed in Fortune, 11/11/2020
- NAIC Podcast - Season 2, Episode 6: How the virus has changed thoughts about professional life and influenced workplace transition, 07/10/2020
- Action Items For Increasing Financial Security, Op-ed in Morning Consult, 06/16/2020
- Consumers' Own Interest at Stake With Genetic Testing Bill, Op-ed in South Florida Sun Sentinel, 01/22/2020
- If Senate Fails on Secure Act, Workers Lose, Op-ed in The Hill, 07/30/2019
- Insurers Must Ask About Naloxone, Letter to the editor, Times Union (Albany, N.Y.), 05/24/2019
- The Retirement Savings Crisis, Interview on WHO-TV (Des Moines, Iowa), 04/28/2019
- The Retirement Crisis Is Real, Op-ed in The Hill, 03/18/2019
- CEO Perspective: Congress Makes It Clear: Retirement Security Is a Priority Issue, Op-ed in Morning Consult, 02/13/2019
- How Statehouses Can Avoid Repeating Washington's Mistakes, Op-ed in Medium, 02/12/2019
- Protecting U.S. State-Regulated Insurance, Letter to the editor, Wall Street Journal, 12/10/2018
- CEO Perspective: The #1 Thing I'm Listening for at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Op-ed, 10/01/2018
- CEO Perspective: Americans' Retirement Concerns Attracting Policymakers' Attention, Op-ed in Morning Consult, 9/10/2018