John Engler is president of the Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations that produce $7.4 trillion in annual revenues and employ more than 16 million people. A former three-term governor of Michigan, Engler assumed leadership of Business Roundtable in January 2011 after serving six years as president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
As BRT president, Engler brings CEO expertise and insights to bear on major challenges facing the United States, including global competitiveness, innovation, economic growth and job creation. BRT-member CEOs lead global companies that invest $158 billion annually in research and development – equal to 62 percent of private U.S. R&D spending. In addition, they pay more than $200 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate more than $540 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.
Through landmark reports like “Taking Action for America: A CEO Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth” (2012), “It’s Time to Act for America’s Future” (2013), and “Invested in America: A Growth Agenda for the U.S. Economy” (2014), Business Roundtable and Engler promote policies to achieve more robust economic growth and hiring. These priorities include a restructuring of the nation’s system of taxation to broaden and lower corporate tax rates and move to a modernized system of worldwide taxation, expanded international trade, and fixing the nation’s broken system of immigration.
Throughout his leadership at both the NAM and Business Roundtable, Engler has been heavily engaged in education and workforce issues, identifying the pressing shortage of skilled employees as a growing threat to American competitiveness in the 21st century’s high-tech global economy. During Engler’s tenure as the 46th governor of Michigan from 1991 to 2003, he signed 32 tax cuts into law – saving Michigan taxpayers some $32 billion – and helped create more than 800,000 new jobs, taking the state’s unemployment rate to a record low. The top priority of his administration was improving education, with a focus on high standards, equity and accountability. Syndicated columnist David Broder summarized Engler’s service as governor as a “model of strong, executive leadership.”
He had previously served for 20 years in the Michigan Legislature, including seven years as state Senate majority leader. Elected in 1970, Engler was the youngest person ever elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives. In 1990, he became the first sitting legislator elected Michigan governor in more than 100 years.
Engler serves on the board of directors for Universal Forest Products, K12 Inc., and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is a past chairman of the National Governors’ Association. The American Academy of Arts and Science has named him a member of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. Born in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in 1948, Engler graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor of science in agricultural economics. Later, he earned a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. He and his wife, Michelle, are parents of triplet daughters born in 1994 – Margaret, Hannah and Madeleine – and live in Virginia.