Dawn Sweeney

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Dawn Sweeney is the president & CEO of the largest trade group for the U.S. restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association.

She is a Maine native with a master of business administration degree from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.


Sweeney was named the first female president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association in 2007.[1] An accomplished executive with a proactive, nonpartisan approach,[2] she has generated positive reviews from the industry and in Washington.[3]

At the National Restaurant Association, she is leading the organization's mission to help its members "build customer loyalty, rewarding careers and financial success" and "lead America's restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve".[4] She also serves as the CEO of the National Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation.[5]

Before joining the National Restaurant Association, Sweeney was the president and CEO of AARP Services,[6] the wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP, where she was responsible for the launch of AARP Financial,[7] which offers financial planning services and products. She also more than quadrupled revenues for the organization that were used to support AARP's mission.

Before taking the helm at AARP Services, Sweeney was AARP's Group Executive Officer for Membership, where she launched the association's Hispanic membership development initiatives and oversaw AARP The Magazine, which is read by more than 20 million people. Prior to that, she held positions at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the International Dairy Foods Association.

Recognition and service[edit]

Pennsylvania State University School of Hospitality Management named Dawn Sweeney as their spring 2015 Conti professor. [8]

CEO Update[9] magazine named Sweeney one of the top association CEOs in the U.S. in 2009.[10]

Irish America magazine selected her in 2007 as one of its 100 honorees, and she was also recently inducted into the Honor Society of the American Culinary Federation's American Academy of Chefs.[11]

Sweeney serves on the board of Save the Children,[12] a global organization committed to creating lasting change in the lives of children in need.

She is an active member of the United States Chamber of Commerce's Committee of 100,[13] the International Women's Forum,[14] and the Committee of 200, an international network of female executives.


  1. ^ National Restaurant Association news release National Restaurant Association news release
  2. ^ "Dawn Sweeney: A Shot in the Arm for the NRA" Hospitality HR Solutions "Observations" article
  3. ^ "Restaurant group takes place at table" Politico article
  4. ^ About Us About the National Restaurant Association
  5. ^ NRAEF National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  6. ^ AARP Services, Inc. AARP Services, Inc.
  7. ^ AARP news release News release on launch of AARP Financial
  8. ^ National Restaurant Association (13 February 2015). "Visiting professor Sweeney holds Penn State master class". www.restaurant.org. National Restaurant Association. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  9. ^ CEO Update CEO Update
  10. ^ NRN article Nation's Restaurant News article
  11. ^ American Culinary Federation American Culinary Federation
  12. ^ Save the Children Save the Children
  13. ^ U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  14. ^ IWF International Women's Forum

External links[edit]