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Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Board leadership at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is close to naming Thomas Donohue's successor, and is expected to appoint Suzanne Clark as its next leader, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: As CEO, Donohue, 83, built the chamber into a political powerhouse that supports pro-business policies, contributes huge sums largely to Republicans and promises to give its international and domestic members a voice in Washington.

  • The Chamber worked closely with the Trump administration on economic and trade policy, and played a role in the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement.
  • But Donohue recently found himself in hot water for distancing himself from some Republican lawmakers and endorsing a slate of House Democrats last cycle, leading to a tense phone call with President Trump, Axios reported in September.

The big picture: Donohue was among many CEOs who called on Trump in mid-November to acknowledge the outcome of the election and began cooperating with the incoming Biden administration.

  • "President-elect Biden and the team around him have a wealth of executive branch experience that should allow them to hit the ground running," Donohue said.

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

14 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 14 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."