The American Petroleum Institute (API) said Jan. 17 that President and CEO Jack Gerard will not make another long-term commitment to API and will step down when his current contract ends in August 2018.

Jack Gerard

Since Gerard joined the oil and natural gas trade association in 2008, API membership grew by almost 50% and added members from every sector of the industry, according to API’s press release. The organization also tripled its growth in global markets where it promotes safety through standard setting and best practices, including expansions to Singapore, Dubai and Rio de Janeiro.

Additionally, Gerard helped build a grassroots network comprised of 45 million voters with representation in congressional districts who communicate with their elected officials on energy issues, the release said.

“Jack has been an extraordinary leader for the oil and natural gas industry during a time of challenge and opportunity,” API Chairman and ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said in a statement. “He has unified our industry, expanded our global reach, heightened our effectiveness, and navigated a number of significant public policy challenges to a successful conclusion, including: the end of the crude oil export ban; the preservation of a pro-development and refining tax and regulatory framework; and the creation of a Center for Offshore Safety, dedicated to safety in offshore operations. Jack has built a solid foundation from which we will continue to grow. We will miss Jack tremendously because of his significant accomplishments over the years. Our focus will now be on the search for a successor who will build on Jack’s achievements.”

Gerard will assist in the search for a new CEO and continue to direct API’s work until a replacement is found.

“Serving the oil and natural gas industry during this historic time, when an American energy renaissance has made the U.S. the world’s leading producer and refiner of oil and natural gas, has been among the most fulfilling professional experiences of my career,” Gerard said in a statement. “We have accomplished what few would have imagined: important public policy victories at all levels of government, and a revitalized association that has expanded globally and added significant strength to its advocacy capabilities. I have served for 10 years at API, which is the longest tenure of my career. I’m ready for my next challenge and want to ensure that API will have time for an orderly transition to plan for its next decade.”

Gerard joined API after serving as president and CEO of trade associations the National Mining Association and the American Chemistry Council. He worked for almost a decade in the U.S. Senate and House. He is active in several civic organizations, including as an advisory board member and past chairman of the National Area Council of the Boys Scouts of America, a board member and former co-chair of The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and chairman of the board of directors for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

API is a national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8% of the U.S. economy, the release said.