Chamber Foundation president leaving amid congressional scrutiny

Carolyn Cawley is stepping down as president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Hill.

“Sharing the news that Carolyn will be leaving the Chamber at the end of the summer is bittersweet,” Chamber President Suzanne Clark wrote in the memo. “We began thoughtful conversations earlier this year about her desire to focus on a much more personal endeavor.”

Cawley’s departure also comes on the heels of a letter she and Clark received earlier this month from House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) questioning donations to the foundation received from a left-leaning nonprofit, the Tides Foundation.

The Chamber previously told The Hill that the inquiry was based on a “factually inaccurate” story by the conservative outlet Breitbart, which first reported that the Tides Foundation disclosed grants that totaled more than $12 million to the Chamber between 2018 and 2022.

The country’s largest pro-business lobbying group also said the Tides Foundation was just a vehicle for funds from corporate donors, not the donor itself, but defended its right to decline to disclose the source of the funds.

Michael Carney, the foundation’s senior vice president, has been appointed as president of the foundation, according to the memo.

“It is a testament to her commitment to the Foundation and the Chamber that a priority has been a smooth transition,” Clark wrote in the memo.

A Chamber spokesperson referred The Hill to the memo.

Updated at 5:43 p.m. EDT.

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