Former Google Exec Tapped by DC

February 19, 2014

Harry Wingo, a technology consultant, former Google executive and retired Navy SEAL, was tapped Tuesday to replace Barbara Lang as president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Wingo, a D.C. native and current District resident, will start April 1.

“We chose Harry because of his deep leadership expertise and visible passion for this city, as well as his organizational and political skills, which are required to lead our growing and dynamic organization,” Tony Lewis, the chamber board chairman, said in a statement. “Harry shares our commitment and passion to create innovative solutions for business growth in the District of Columbia.”

Still, he has big shoes to fill. Lang was not only the face of the chamber for 11 years, publicly leading the organization of 1,700 members through some challenging issues— paid sick leave, big box living wage, the smoking ban — but she was a big fundraiser, too.

The group was virtually broke when Lang took over in March 2002, Lang has said. Today, win or lose on the issues, the chamber is always at the table, and it’s got a $4 million budget to ensure it will remain there.

Wingo’s “top-of-mind issues,” according to the chamber, include taxes, regulation, workforce development and education — basically, the issues at the top of every business-minded organization’s list.

He is managing partner of D.C.-based West River Solutions, a cybersecurity consulting firm he founded only six months ago. Prior to West River, he served for five years as a policy counsel and veterans community programs manager with Google Inc., where he led an effort to boost the number of veterans working for the Internet giant.

As Published in WBJ – 2/19/14 – Michael Neibauer

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