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U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Announces New Manufacturing Council Members

Monday, January 13, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the appointment of five new members to the 2014 Manufacturing Council (Council). The Council, established in 2004, advises the Secretary of Commerce on challenges facing U.S. manufacturers and recommends programs and policies to help manufacturers maintain global competitiveness. 

“As the federal agency responsible for leading the government’s manufacturing policy, the Commerce Department is committed to doing everything we can to support this critical sector of our nation’s economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Our ‘Open for Business Agenda’ includes a strong focus on initiatives that will strengthen the manufacturing sector. The new members of our Manufacturing Council have unique expertise and perspective that will be integral to our efforts to shape policies that support American businesses and workers, boost our economic growth, and create jobs.”

Manufacturing is a key indicator of our intellectual and innovative capacity. The industry accounts for 70 percent of private sector research and development and 70 percent of patents issued. Manufacturing also makes up the majority of U.S. exports, which support 10 million American jobs and contributed a record $2.2 trillion to our economy last year.

The newly appointed members of the Manufacturing Council are:

  • Harvey Hughes, President, Immediate Response Technologies (MD)
  • Avram Saunders, President and CEO, Lightning Eliminators & Consultants (CO)
  • Anne Whitaker, President – North American Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi US (NJ)
  • Beth Williams, President and CEO, Roxbury Technology LLC (MA)
  • Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW North America (NJ)

The Council, which is directed by the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, is comprised of up to 30 members that represent a diverse and balanced cross-section of the manufacturing industry according to sector, geographic location, demographics, and company size. The Secretaries of Labor, Energy, and Treasury serve as ex officio members of the Council to better collaborate on cross-cutting issues the Council will address.

At the inaugural SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit in November, Secretary Pritzker announced her approval to revisions to the eligibility requirements for the Manufacturing Council. The change allows for the appointment of representatives of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned or –controlled manufacturers to the Council. The adjustment supports President Obama’s SelectUSA initiative that aims to increase foreign direct investment in the U.S.

One of the Council’s main efforts is working to ensure that the United States remains the preeminent destination for investment in manufacturing throughout the world. The Council also provides a forum for proposing solutions to industry-related problems and helps ensure that there is regular communication between the U.S. government and the manufacturing sector.

The next Manufacturing Council meeting is scheduled for January 14. For more information on the Council, including the full list of members, visit