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ABA: The American Bankers Association
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ABA Names Kirsten Sutton Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations and Legislative Affairs


Kirsten Sutton has been named executive vice president of congressional relations and legislative affairs for the American Bankers Association, the voice of the nation’s $23.7 trillion banking industry and its more than two million employees. Sutton will succeed James Ballentine, who recently announced his retirement after a distinguished 22-year career at the association. She will begin her new responsibilities on May 9.  

Since joining ABA in 2020, Sutton has served as executive director of ABA’s Card Policy Council, where she has led ABA’s advocacy efforts on card and payments issues. In her new role, Sutton will oversee the association’s bipartisan team responsible for engaging lawmakers and their staff on policy and legislative issues affecting America’s banks and the communities they serve.  

“We are thrilled to have Kirsten lead ABA’s congressional team at such a pivotal time for the banking industry,” said ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols. “Kirsten has an incredible passion for advocacy and a deep appreciation for the essential role banks of all sizes play in supporting local communities and the broader economy. Her significant experience on the Hill, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and within ABA make her ideally suited for this critically important position.” 

“Kirsten’s strong leadership of ABA’s Card Policy Council has demonstrated her highly effective advocacy with different stakeholders across a range of complex policy issues,” said ABA Chief Policy Officer Naomi Camper. “We look forward to Kirsten putting her formidable skills to work and launching a new chapter for ABA on Capitol Hill, building off the strong foundation already in place.” 

Before joining ABA, Sutton served as the chief of staff for former CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger. At the CFPB, Sutton advised Director Kraninger on policy and strategic priorities within the Bureau, initiated and facilitated cross-agency coordination with other regulatory agencies, and represented the Director in interactions with lawmakers and congressional committees, among other responsibilities. She also served as chief of staff for Acting Director Mick Mulvaney in 2018. Prior to her time at the CFPB, Sutton spent more than a decade on Capitol Hill, serving most recently as majority staff director of the House Financial Services Committee under Chairman Jeb Hensarling.  

A native of San Antonio, Sutton holds a B.A. in communications from Wheaton College.


About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $24 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ approximately 2.1 million people, safeguard $19 trillion in deposits and extend $12.4 trillion in loans.

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