Former KeyBank executive takes on new role as deputy secretary of commerce • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Department of Commerce

Former KeyBank executive takes on new role as deputy secretary of commerce

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Don Graves

Don Graves, a former executive with KeyBank, now is officially deputy secretary of commerce.

Graves, whose appointment to the post was announced in early January, was sworn in May 14 by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo following a senate confirmation vote of 89-7. Graves was sworn-in on a copy of the 13th amendment signed by President Abraham Lincoln and more than 150 members of Congress, which was gifted to his third-great-grandfather by his friend, Senator Charles Sumner, and passed down through his family for generations.

“We’re assembling a world-class team at the Commerce Department, and Don is a prime example of that,” said Raimondo. “(Don) has the knowhow, the passion, and the energy to help position American businesses and workers to out-compete and out-innovate for years to come.”

Graves said through his own experiences, he has seen how people across the country, from tribal communities in North Dakota to people in small towns on the Mississippi Delta, are pursuing their own dreams for themselves and their families.

“I am eager to hit the ground running with Secretary Raimondo to ensure everyone, no matter where they live, is given a fair shot,” he said.

Graves family has a long history with the Commerce Department.

His four-times great grandparents built a successful horse and buggy taxi business in Washington that once stood at the site of the Commerce Department’s headquarters. Their son went on to own a premier hotel just blocks away and become one of our nation’s first Black patent-holders through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Graves most recently served as counselor to President Joe Biden during the presidential campaign. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and head of corporate responsibility and community relations at KeyBank.

Graves led KeyBank’s corporate responsibility team, including the bank’s $16.5 billon National Community Benefits Plan, the bank’s sustainability work, stakeholder engagement and outreach, and oversaw the KeyBank Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation.

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Graves served as deputy assistant to the president and counselor and domestic and economic policy director for then-Vice President Biden. He was previously appointed by President Barack Obama as executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and led the federal government’s efforts in the economic recovery of the city of Detroit.  

Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Williams College and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

KeyBank has several locations in the South Bend-Elkhart area as well as metro Indianapolis. KeyCorp has assets of $170.3 billion and operates in 15 states through a network of more than 1,000 branches.


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