Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming his position in 1997, Donohue has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe.
Donohue has aggressively advanced a competitiveness agenda that includes doubling U.S. exports in five years, strengthening capital markets, forging a national energy strategy, reforming health care and education, and protecting intellectual property rights. In addition, Donohue spearheaded the creation of the American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign, a positive, long-term program to defend, protect, and advance a free enterprise system based on individual initiative, hard work, and personal responsibility—operating with free trade, free capital markets, and reasonable taxes and regulations.
During Donohue’s tenure, the Chamber’s lobbyists, policy experts, and communicators have helped secure many legislative victories, including major tax cuts, more sensible workplace and environmental regulations, and increased funding for transportation. On the international front, the Chamber has become a leader in knocking down trade barriers, winning new free and fair trade agreements, and fighting isolationism at home and abroad.
Under Donohue’s leadership, the Chamber has also emerged as a major player in election politics, helping elect congressional pro-business candidates through financial support and voter activism generated through the Chamber’s powerful grassroots program.
Donohue established the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, which has won significant legal reforms in the courts, at the state and federal levels, and in elections for state attorneys general and supreme court judges. The National Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s law firm, has become more aggressive in challenging anti-business measures in court. In 2009, it entered 134 new cases of significance to the business community and helped secure 52 victories.
The National Chamber Foundation, the Chamber’s public policy think tank, drives the policy debate on key topics and provides a forum where leaders advance cutting-edge issues facing the U.S. business community.
Donohue has also launched a number of multimillion-dollar initiatives around several key issues, including a national energy strategy, stronger capital markets, and protection of intellectual property.
Previously, Donohue served for 13 years as president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, the national organization of the trucking industry.
Donohue serves on two corporate boards of directors—Union Pacific Corporation and Sunrise Senior Living Corporation. He is president of the Center for International Private Enterprise, a program of the National Endowment for Democracy dedicated to the development of market-oriented institutions around the world.
Born in New York City in 1938, Donohue earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Adelphi University. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Adelphi, St. John’s, and Marymount universities.
Donohue and his wife, Liz, live in Potomac, Maryland. They have three sons and four grandchildren.