Jack Gerard has served as President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute since November, 2008. Gerard was born and raised in Idaho, moving to George Washington University to obtain a B.A. in Political Science and a subsequent law degree.
Prior to assuming his current position at API, Jack Gerard worked as the President of the American Chemistry Council from 2005-2008 and before that as the President of the National Mining Association from 2001-2005. Gerard obtained his initial political foothold throughout the 1980s while working for Representative George Hansen (R-ID) and Senator James McClure (R-ID), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
According to Fortune, Gerard's position as Big Oil's top lobbyist gives him "unprecedented direct and regular access to the CEOs of his most important member companies, including Exxon's Rex Tillerson and ConocoPhillips' James Mulva."
The Washington Post quoted API employees who referred to Gerard as "a political animal," a "hard-nosed guy," and "Voldemort." Upon taking over API's top leadership position, Gerard quickly cut expenditures by firing employees. Gerard's salary was $6.4 million in 2010, among the very top compensation figures among nonprofit executives as well as among DC professionals. The Post also wrote, "some lobbyists say Gerard is doing exactly what Big Oil expects of him, taking flak on controversial issues while corporate executives end up looking reasonable and moderate by comparison."