The Austin Chamber of Commerce announced on Nov. 22 that Laura Huffman will step down as CEO and president at the end of the year.

The chamber will announce an interim leader in the near future, according to the press release, ahead of a national search for Huffman’s successor.

Huffman joined the chamber in April 2020, on the heels of the city of Austin ordering bars and restaurants to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic a week prior.

“[Huffman] provided key direction on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, public safety, talent, and workforce development,” said Ali Khataw, chair-elect of the Austin chamber's board of directors. “Her engagement helped businesses and the community navigate turbulent times and find solutions to these pressing challenges. The community owes her a great deal of gratitude for her leadership.”

During Huffman’s time on Chamber, Austin’s economy has a strong rebound from the pandemic downturn, according to several economic indicators. According a Nov.22 press release from the Chamber, Austin recovered all jobs lost during the 2020’s pandemic by May 2021 and has ranked first for job growth since February 2020.

“I am proud of the Chamber’s accomplishments over the last three years. Importantly, none of the success we celebrate would have been possible without the talented staff we have,” Huffman said. “...Today, Austin continues to be one of the strongest economic performers in the country.”