Susanne Thorsen Stirling is Vice President of International Affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce. The organization, established in 1890, is the largest and most broadly based employer representative in the state capitol. Its members include over 16,000 firms of all kinds and sizes, as well as 450 affiliated local chambers of commerce and 200 trade associations. Through its grassroots action program, the California Chamber reaches out to a statewide network of over 430,000 small business owners. The California Chamber also offers a variety of services to help businesses comply with complex laws and regulations, as well as compete in the international marketplace.
The California Chamber supports expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.
Mrs. Stirling is responsible for the activities of the California Chamber Council for International Trade, including the CIT's involvement with state and federal legislative and regulatory issues, as well as, international issues on the bilateral and multilateral levels. In addition to trade policy, she also coordinates trade development and promotion on behalf of the Chamber.
Mrs. Stirling serves as an Executive member of the California State Trade Partnership and as an alternate Board member to the California International Relations Foundation, in addition to serving on the Advisory Board for the University of the Pacific School of International Studies. In previous years, Mrs. Stirling has served on the Northern California District Export Council (appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce), the Board of Directors of the International Diplomacy Council, the World Affairs Council of Northern California (Sacramento) and the Danish-American Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to her affiliation with the California Chamber, Mrs. Stirling was employed in Copenhagen by Burmeister and Wain A/S, a Danish ship-building company, in their public relations and finance/legal departments.
Mrs. Stirling received her Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1976. Her undergraduate work was completed at the University of Copenhagen and the University of the Pacific in Stockton, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 1975.
Mrs. Stirling and her husband, former California state Assembly member, Superior Court Judge and Chief Deputy Attorney General, Dave Stirling, Vice President for Pacific Legal Foundation and daughter, Mikaela reside in the California Delta.