Betty Sutton was sworn in as the tenth Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) on August 13, 2013. As Administrator, Ms. Sutton leads the U.S. federal government agency that partners with the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to operate and maintain the locks and vessel traffic control areas in the St. Lawrence Seaway. In addition, the SLSDC performs trade development functions designed to enhance Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System utilization.
The youngest of six children, Betty Sutton is the daughter of a library clerk and a boilermaker. She attended public schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Kent State University in 1985, and a law degree at the University of Akron School of Law in 1990. Her law school achievements included both the Federal Bar Association and American Jurisprudence Awards for Excellence in Constitutional Law.
Ms. Sutton commenced her career in public service while still in law school, running for and winning an at-large seat on the Barberton City Council in 1990. A year later, she was appointed to an at-large seat on the Summit County Council and served until 1992, including service as the council’s elected vice president. That same year, at age 29, she became the youngest woman ever to win election to the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served for eight years until term limits prevented her from seeking re-election in 2000.
Leaving public service, Ms. Sutton worked as a labor attorney with the Cleveland firm of Faulkner, Muskovitz & Phillips from 2001 to 2006, where she represented workers, including first responders, teachers, and members of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the union that represents dock workers throughout the Great Lakes Seaway System.
In 2006, Ms. Sutton ran for and won a seat representing Ohio’s 13th Congressional district, winning re-election in 2008 and 2010. While in Congress, Ms. Sutton successfully sponsored and passed a number of measures, including the effective and popular “Cash for Clunkers” program, which was responsible for creating and saving 60,000 U.S. auto industry jobs.
Ms. Sutton was elected President of her Congressional class, earned a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee in her second term, and was chosen to co-chair the Congressional Jobs Task Force. She is the recipient of many awards, including Legislator of the Year Awards from the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, Ohio AMVETS, the National Urban League, and was named an Automotive All Star by Automotive News.
Ms. Sutton’s husband, Doug Corwon, is a mediator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.