November 21, 2023


WASHINGTON, DC — Former U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue received Hiring Our Heroes’ President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement for his outstanding vision and contributions in helping more than one million veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.

Donohue accepted the award during the 13th Annual Lee Anderson Hiring Our Heroes Awards Gala, presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, on Nov. 15 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Tom did everything in his power to make sure those who served on the frontlines were at the front of the line for good jobs,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark.

Donohue served as president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1997 to 2019. He now serves on the organization’s board of directors.

During his tenure, Donohue reinvigorated the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which houses Hiring Our Heroes (HOH). Under Donohue’s leadership, HOH partnered with Capital One to launch the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. Through this initiative, more than 2,000 businesses of all sizes and industries hired more than 500,000 veterans and military spouses.

During his acceptance speech, Donohue outlined the “good business” of hiring veterans as a solution for the current labor shortage facing the private sector and the military recruitment shortfall facing the U.S. Department of Defense.

“Hiring Our Heroes is a win-win-win. The veteran wins. The company wins. And you know, who else wins? The United States military and therefore the United States of America wins because we are creating a situation that makes it more attractive for young men and women to join the services of the United States,” Donohue said.

The 32nd Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, retired Gen. James L. Jones, joined Amanda Eversole, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer at American Petroleum Institute, and Hiring Our Heroes President Eric Eversole to present the award to Donohue.

“It’s fitting that tonight’s theme is commitment to service because I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award on this night than Thomas J. Donohue, the former president and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce,” Eric Eversole said. “Tom has been a role model to many of us. He has made us better leaders and more importantly, better people.”

In addition to the President’s Award, Hiring Our Heroes presented awards to individuals and organizations committed to serving and supporting military veterans and their families.

  • The Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran and Military Spouse Employment was presented to Tom Downs, principal and director of Diversity Talent Acquisition and Talent Pipeline Programs at Booz Allen.
  • TransForce was recognized with the Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award for overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. 
  • Johnson & Johnson received the Steve Robinson Post-9/11 Veteran Employment Award, presented by Prudential Financial.
  • Deloitte Consulting received the Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring Award, presented by USAA. The Military Community Nonprofit Leadership Award, presented by Deloitte Consulting, was given to VetJobs and Military Spouse Jobs.
  • The Capital One Small Business Award was presented to SteerBridge.

“Our mission tonight is clear: to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous progress made by Hiring Our Heroes, and to inspire all of us to continue working toward a brighter future for our heroes. Thank you for being a part of this incredible community,” said retired U.S. Army Gen. Dennis Via, Chief Engagement Executive at Booz Allen Hamilton.


About Hiring Our Heroes 

Hiring Our Heroes (HOH), a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is a nationwide initiative to empower veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses as they search for meaningful careers. With more than a decade of experience, we understand the complexities of finding the right job at the right time. HOH’s dedicated team leverages its vast network of employers, resources, and training tools to connect our nation’s heroes with employers committed to their success. 

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation harnesses the power of business to create solutions for the good of America and the world. We anticipate, develop, and deploy solutions to challenges facing communities—today and tomorrow.