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Jack Gerard to Replace Red Cavaney at API

Jack Gerard, president of the American Chemistry Council, has accepted the top job at the American Petroleum Institute, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Gerard is set to replace longtime API head Red Cavaney, an institution in Washington, D.C., lobbying circles, at a critical time for the petroleum industry.

An ACC spokesperson was not immediately available for comment, and the API flatly denied the changeover.

“Red Cavaney has no plans to be leaving API,” said Ray Connolly a spokesman for API. “There is no impending change. There are no plans here or any intention of changing.”

But sources familiar with the situation said Cavaney is likely to transition out of the top position at API this fall, and a May 2008 National Journal story reported that an active search was underway for a Cavaney replacement.

Gerard, who has been president and CEO of the chemistry group since July 2005, was brought on board to shake up the organization. As part of that effort, he reorganized the group and embarked on a high-profile advertising campaign.

His bio at the ACC says he has led an effort “to redefine the chemistry industry and strengthen its role in advocating public policy. He has pledged to make the ACC the ‘gold standard’ of trade associations.”

Gerard formerly ran the National Mining Association and before that was a contract lobbyist.

Cavaney, according to an online bio, joined API in 1997 and has long been a fixture in the Washington association world. He has been president and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association and of the American Plastics Council.

Cavaney was deputy assistant to the president for public liaison in the Reagan White House, where, according to the bio, he helped put together private-sector coalitions to support Reagan’s legislative goals.

In their current roles, both Cavaney and Gerard work on similar issues, particularly legislation on global warming, energy and environmental policy.

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