Mitch Bainwol is President and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the trade association representing automakers who sell new vehicles in the United States. The Auto Alliance represents 12 leading automakers on a range of safety, environmental and related policy issues before Congress and state legislatures.
Bainwol is a strong advocate for market-driven government policies that help move forward a technology innovation agenda. “We’re on the precipice of a golden era in mobility. Our roads are going to be far safer than ever, and the environmental benefits are enormous,” according to Bainwol. “Each automaker is pursuing strategies consistent with its own vision of what will motivate its future customers, who are choosing winners through their collective purchasing patterns.” Bainwol is a proponent of government policies that increase fuel economy by recognizing innovative new safety technologies on today’s automobiles.
Since coming to Auto Alliance in September 2011, Bainwol has given consumers a larger voice in auto policy through development of the Alliance Auto Index, a national public opinion survey reaching 60,000 people annually to provide insights into consumer sentiments on a range of topics affecting automobiles. Recent survey findings show that nine out of 10 Americans see auto manufacturing as important to a strong economy.
Bainwol is recognized for his leadership during transitions, especially building coalitions and identifying new pathways forward. During his eight years as president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (2003-2011), Bainwol helped the music industry meet the new digital world by curbing piracy and protecting intellectual property rights. Bainwol is now helping the auto industry through challenges associated with automobiles and connectivity. “In the music space, technology was a threat, because technology enabled theft. In the auto industry, I’m in a world with massive technology companies who build vehicles, and technology is not a threat to our business model; it’s the enabler of the future,” said Bainwol.
Bainwol is widely recognized for his campaign capabilities and knowledge of government processes. He spent 25 years in federal policymaking and politics, including serving as chief of staff to two U.S. Senators and two political committees. The Washington Post called Mr. Bainwol a “Top D.C. Lobbyist and Man in Demand.” Capitol Hill’s Roll Call newspaper included him as one of the 50 most influential “politicos” in Washington. Campaigns and Elections magazine named him a “Mover and Shaker.”
Bainwol began his career as a budget analyst in President Ronald Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget. He obtained an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from Rice University.
Mr. Bainwol was born in Munich where his father was stationed. He grew up in Germany, the Canal Zone, Maryland, and Thailand before graduating from Frankfurt American High School. Bainwol serves on the boards of Center for Automotive Research and the Bryce Harlow Foundation, where he also is Chairman. He and his wife, Susan, have three children.