Thomas J. Donohue

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  • [Senior] Thomas J. Donohue Sr. (born 1938) was the President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce located in Washington, D.C. The Chamber of Commerce supports pro-business causes and is the largest and oldest trade association in the United States. Donohue has been the Chamber's president since 1997.
  • [Junior] Thomas J Donohue Jr Founder of Adelphi Capital LLC.. Consultant to Chase Securities and Bear Stearns & Co. On board of Overnight Corp(one of the country's leading trucking firm) and on the board of the National Chamber Foundation.
  • Thomas R Donahue Sn [note spelling] is Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO
  • Thomas J Donahue Jr [note spelling] is with Ogilvy & Mather, Donahue & Associates, and worked for tobacco with James Savarese.
The name Donohue/Donnahue/Donahue/Donahoe can spelled a half-dozen different ways (and was in the tobacco documents). It is almost impossible to untangle some of the references. It is possible that the Senior/Junior Donohue's are just one person here.

The Tobacco Archives have 516 documents with the name Thomas J. Donohue (and many more Tom Donohue's)


Thomas J. Donohue has served as president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce since 1997 and established the Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).[1]

Circa 2007 "Prior to his current post, Donohue served for 13 years as president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Association, 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."[1]

1980's Tobacco Institute documents record him as the Director of the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation (CART) which was formed in March 1986 with tobacco industry help to oppose excise tax and tariff increases proposed as part of Packwood tax plan (reform). CART which was made up of major retail and industrial trade associations. [2]

CART was under the control of the American Trucking Associations of which he was President. In 1989 he was the sixth highest paid lobbyist in the country. He worked at, and through, the National Chamber Foundation and became its President also. He was also President of the Center for International Private Enterprise, which was a core institution of the National Endowment for Democracy. He had a $3.7 million salary, a chauffered Lincoln, and a leased jet aircraft.


Tom Donohue Junior was born 1938 in New York City. He earned a B.A. from St. John’s University and an M.S. in business administration from Adelphi University. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Adelphi, St. John’s, and Marymount Universities.[1]

Since his arrival at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1997, the organization has grown immensely, with annual fundraising increasing from approximately $50 to nearly five times that amount. In addition, annual lobbying expenditures have been raised from $17 million to approximately $157 million in 2010. During the 2012 elections, Tom Donohue claimed that his goal for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was to spend $50 million in political advertising.[3]

Documents & Timeline

1969-76: He was the US Official Deputy Assistant Postmaster General, where he helped "convert[] the Post Office from a government department into the quasi-private U.S. Postal Service."

1976: He joined the development department of the US Chamber of Commerce under its president, Richard Lesher.

1978: His US Chamber role included running "a grassroots political apparatus" and "relations with the White House and Congress". "Donohue was a guy who was there —you could feel him. He got the members to get very aggressively behind the president," said Wayne Valis, a special assistant to President Reagan. [Valis was also a tobacco tout]

1978 His name first appears in the tobacco archives. The National Chamber foundation has produced "A National Health Care Strategy: How Business Can Promote Good Health for Employees and Their Families." The Chairman and the Board are al big business executives (Exxon, General Electric, Western Airlines, etc.) Staff: Thomas J. Donohue, Executive Vice President and James S Rosebush, VP. The report has been produced by Interstudy of Excelsior, Minesota by two MDs Keith W Sehnert and John K Tillotson

1987 May 27 Thomas J Donohue Statement at a Press Conferernce.

Good morning. I1*! Tom Donohue* 1 am president of the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation, or CART, and president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations.

Today we are releasing a report for CART called "An Analysis of the Regressivity of Excise Taxes." It is authored by the Policy Economics Group of Peat Marwick Main & Co. With me to answer questions about the study is its principal author. Dr. Darwin Johnson-

This study, an independent and thorough analysis, confirms what* we have been saying for an extended period of time. Excise taxes are regressive.[3]

1982 Dec-JanThomas J Donohue is President of Citizens Voice Inc. of Washington DC, a corporate lobbying think-tank which publishes a newsletter called Citizens Voice. They lobby on behalf of plaintiff lawyers and on other variable subjects. He writes one of the columns, and is quoted in others. He is boosting the Private Sector Initiatives Task Force [4]

1983 Mar 31 The letterhead of the Washington DC National Chamber Foundation lists Thomas J. Donohue as its Executive Vice President. The CEO of Liggett & Myers Tobacco has approached him about a study on National Health Care Strategy, where the finding was to "demonstrate how free enterprise could ultimately solve the health care cost crisis" without the US drifting into a "national health care system like that of Great Britain."

The study was now five years old and they were considering revising it. [5]

This is the only document this year carrying his name.

1988 Nov 16 See CART testimony to the National Economic Commission by Thomas J Donohue, President and CEO of American Trucking Association.

    This statement is presented on behalf of the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation (CART). CART is an alliance of companies and trade associations from a variety of industries whose customers, workers, and owners, many of them small businesses, pay the bulk of federal excise taxes. CART does not have a formal membership,but attendees at our recent meetings have come from more than 30 companies and associations that are affected by excise taxes on tobacco, beer, wine, distilled spirits, and highway and airways users. Participants in CART are united in their opposition to increases in excise taxes as a means to reduce the deficit, whether these taxes go into general revenues, existing trust funds or some type of "deficit reduction trust fund," [6]

1997 Thomas J. Donohue Sr. (born 1938) is the President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce located in Washington, D.C. The Chamber of Commerce supports pro-business causes and is the largest and oldest trade association in the United States.[1] Donohue has been the Chamber's president since 1997.

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Management: Donohue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, accessed October 22, 2007.
  2. U.S.-India Business Council Board, organizational web page, accessed April 5, 2020.
  3. Nonprofit profile: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Alexandra Duszak, The Center for Public Integrity, June 21, 2012.

External articles