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 force with expanded influence across the globe.
Donohue established the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), 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 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. The Chamber has advanced the business argument on outsourcing and the need for balance in applying new capital markets and accounting rules, among other issues.
On the international front, the Chamber has become a leader in knocking down trade barriers, winning new free trade agreements, and fighting protectionism both 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 and turnout generated through the Chamber’s grassroots organization, VoteForBusiness.com.
The National Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s law firm, has become more aggressive in challenging anti-business measures in court, setting a new record for cases entered in each of the last six years and securing 48 court victories in 2006.
The revitalized National Chamber Foundation, the Chamber’s public policy think tank, is shaping the policy debate on cutting-edge business issues, with major new initiatives on intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, capital markets and accounting rules, and travel and tourism.
Financially, the Chamber has never been stronger. Since 1997, when Donohue took over, it has tripled its annual revenues to more than $130 million. In addition, Donohue launched a $200 million capital campaign to help secure the Chamber’s financial future.
Prior to his current post, 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 three corporate boards of directors. In addition, he is a member of the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce as well as the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Donohue 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 also 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.