John A. Allison will become president of the Cato Institute in Washington,D.C., on October 1, 2012. He is the retired chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, the tenth largest financial services holding company headquartered in the United States.

Allison began his service with BB&T in 1971 and was elected chairman and CEO in July 1989. During Allison’s tenure as CEO, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets. In March 2009, he joined the faculty of Wake Forest University School of Business as Distinguished Professor of Practice.

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his master’s degree in management from Duke University (1974). He is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and has received six honorary doctorate degrees. He was recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 100 most successful CEO’s in the world over the last decade.

He serves on the Board of Visitors at the business schools at Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Board of Directors of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and the Ayn Rand Institute.