Kevin Dempsey Named Interim CEO

June 23, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Board of Directors today elected Kevin Dempsey as interim president and CEO to succeed Thomas J. Gibson who announced his retirement in March.

Dempsey, who has served as AISI’s senior vice president for public policy and general counsel since 2009, will assume the role immediately. Gibson will serve an advisor to AISI during the transition. The Board also recommended that AISI suspend the search process, currently being conducted by Korn Ferry®.

“It is critical for AISI to have strong expertise and continuity at this time. Not only is the steel industry confronted with the COVID-19 crisis, but we continue to face challenges from market distorting policies and practices that have fueled the massive and growing global excess capacity in steel, from China and elsewhere. Kevin Dempsey has been at the forefront of the industry’s advocacy on this for many years, and the member companies of AISI agree that he is the leader that AISI needs at this crucial time,” said John Brett, chairman of AISI and president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA.

Before joining AISI, Dempsey was a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, a global law firm, and its predecessor Dewey Ballantine LLP. While in private practice, Dempsey litigated numerous international trade cases on behalf of U.S. steel producers and other U.S. industries before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. courts. Prior to joining Dewey Ballantine in 1995, Dempsey served as counsel to Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO) and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Dempsey’s full biography can be found here.

“I am honored that the AISI Board has entrusted me with this position and am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the steel industry with the same passion and robust advocacy for which AISI is known. Tom Gibson’s leadership has been a tremendous asset to the industry and I appreciate his support in ensuring a seamless transition for the North American steel industry’s voice in Washington,“ said Dempsey.

The Board also thanked Gibson for his 12 years of service to the steel industry and the accomplishments he achieved on behalf of the industry; for example, the enactment of legislation to strengthen trade laws for the first time in a generation, successful passage of transportation and infrastructure bills to benefit the steel industry, and a balanced approach to energy and environmental regulations that do not diminish manufacturing competitiveness and capitalize on the natural gas renaissance in the U.S.

Gibson said, “It has been an honor every day to represent the dedicated companies that produce steel in the United States and North America, and to work for steel industry concerns in Washington and beyond. These are critical times and this is a critical role. I am confident that the selection of Kevin’s Dempsey as interim president and CEO will ensure AISI continues its strong, successful and robust advocacy on behalf of the steel industry, our workers and our partners.”


Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 /

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI’s membership is comprised of integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).