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Our Leadership

NRAEF Board Officers & Senior Leadership

Dawn Sweeney

Chief Executive Officer, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Dawn Sweeney

Dawn Sweeney is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association, as well as the CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The Association exists to help its members – the cornerstones of their communities – build customer loyalty, rewarding careers and financial success. With its philanthropic foundation, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public.

Before taking the helm of the National Restaurant Association, Sweeney was president and CEO of AARP Services, the wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. She was responsible for generating more than $700 million in annual revenue to support AARP’s mission. The organization experienced double-digit sales and revenue growth each year under her leadership, and nearly 11 million AARP members used AARP Services products. Sweeney’s stewardship of AARP Services included the launch of AARP Financial, which offers financial planning services such as AARP Funds, a suite of mutual funds.

Sweeney previously was AARP’s group executive officer for membership. In that role, she was responsible for member recruitment and retention, brand development, the launch of AARP’s Hispanic membership development initiatives and AARP The Magazine/AARP Bulletin.

Her 25 years of marketing, advocacy and policy experience include leadership positions at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the International Dairy Foods Association.

Her leadership has generated national attention and several awards. She was named one of Irish America Magazine’s “2007 Business 100.” She also received a Bravo Women Business Achievement Award fromWashington Smart CEO magazine. She was featured in Profiles in persity Journal as a “Woman Worth Watching in 2006.” In 2006, Washington Business Journal named her as one of its "Women Who Mean Business."

Sweeney is a member of the International Women’s Forum; the Committee of 200, an international network of more than 450 female executives; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100. She is a member of the Save the Children board and the advisory boards for the Center on Business and Poverty and the advisory board for the Center on Business and Poverty.

A native of Maine, Sweeney has a master’s degree in business administration from The George Washington University and a bachelor of arts degree in government from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Latest News

Starting today, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will celebrate the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) fifth annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) by spotlighting how restaurant workers are advancing their careers through apprenticeship.

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