The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce said Thursday that the city's 62-year-old mayor and former police chief will become its president and chief executive officer when he leaves office Dec. 3.
Sanders helped guide San Diego from a deep fiscal crisis after his election in 2005. The moderate Republican has been an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage.
Sanders was re-elected in 2008 and is being forced from office by term limits.
He replaces Ruben Barrales, who said in September that he was leaving the chamber after six years on the job.
Democratic Congressman Bob Filner has claimed victory in Tuesday mayoral election. Sander's backed Filner's rival, Councilman Carl DeMaio.