Thomas J. Donohue, MBA, PhD (hc), served as president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1997 to 2019, the first person to hold both titles concurrently in the organization’s history. From 2019 to 2021, Tom served as chief executive officer alongside Suzanne Clark, the Chamber’s former president and current CEO. Tom stepped down from his role as CEO in March of 2021 and now serves as its advisor and as a member of its board of directors.
During his tenure, Tom built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe and helped secure business victories on Capitol Hill, in the regulatory agencies, in politics, in courts of law and in the court of public opinion, and before governments around the world.
Tom led efforts to expand trade and domestic energy production, rebuild America’s infrastructure, combat an avalanche of new regulations, protect intellectual property, revitalize capital markets, and advocate for legal, tax, education, and entitlement reform. In addition, he challenged attacks on free enterprise, while working to protect the business community’s right to speak and participate in the political and policy affairs of the nation.
Under Tom’s leadership, the Chamber emerged as a major political force in races for the Senate and the House of Representatives. As part of this bipartisan effort, millions of grassroots business advocates, as well as the Chamber’s federation of state and local chambers and industry associations, mobilize in support of pro-business candidates.
Tom established the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, dramatically expanded the activities of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s law firm, and reinvigorated the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
He is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award and the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds the highest civilian honor from Germany and South Korea, as well as the Order of the Crown (Commander Class) presented by the Crown Prince of Belgium and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun awarded by the Government of Japan.
Born in New York City, Tom earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Adelphi University. He holds honorary degrees from Adelphi, St. John’s, Marymount, Bradley, and Pepperdine universities, along with the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.