Beverage Forum

Susan Neely
President & CEO
American Beverage Association

Susan K. Neely is president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association (ABA). The association is the leading policy and public education advocate for the non-alcoholic beverage industry which employs nearly 240,000 people across the country with a direct economic impact of more than $169 billion.

During her tenure at ABA, Neely has worked with ABA membership to further industry’s longstanding commitment to being part of the solution to obesity. With innovative industry initiatives, ABA members have a longstanding commitment to finding better ways to address public health challenges and support healthier communities nationwide. Our national School Beverage Guidelines reduced calories from beverages sold in schools by 90 percent and the Clear on Calories initiative voluntarily placed clear calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack they produce. Currently, in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the industry is engaged in a nationwide initiative to reduce calories and sugar consumed from beverages in Americans’ diets. This is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity.

Neely has been recognized as CEO Update’s 2017 Trade Association CEO of the Year, the TRENDS 2014 Association Executive of the Year, one of The Daily Meal’s most powerful woman in food in 2016, one of Washingtonian’s “100 Most Powerful Women” and Seton Hall University’s Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations’ 2011 Global Citizen of the Year.

A native of Iowa, her career has included service for the 43rd President of the United States, two Members of Congress and the longest serving Governor in American history. Currently, Neely serves as a director on the Board of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute and American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF). She is past chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 which includes the largest trade associations in America, and ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives. Neely was the first woman president of both the 105-year-old Washington Rotary Club and the 113-year-old University Club of Washington, D.C.

She holds an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and French civilization from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University. Neely is the mother of two young adults, Eve and Ben.