Award Winner

The winner of this year's Dwight D. Eisenhower Award is Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry.

Mac Thornberry serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee – the first Texan of either party to hold this position. The Armed Services Committee has the  responsibility to oversee the Pentagon, all military services, and all Department of Defense agencies, including their budgets and policies.

Mac believes that protecting our country is the first function of the federal government.  In a time of unprecedented security challenges, he is committed to ensuring that the   United States has the military capability and agility to protect the nation and our interests around the world.  His priority as Chairman is to support and provide for the men and women who serve our country.

A fifth generation Texan, Mac has strong ties to the people he serves and to the district he represents in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mac is a lifelong resident of the 13th District of Texas. His family has been ranching in the district since 1881 - a family business in which Mac remains actively involved.

 Mac shares the values of the people he represents and continues to fight for the things that are important to them. He is a longtime advocate of lower taxes and limited government. Boosting domestic energy production, protecting private property rights, and upholding the Second Amendment are top priorities for Mac. He strongly supports policies of fiscal responsibility and economic growth. Additionally, as one of the few Members of Congress personally involved in agriculture, Mac understands the challenges agricultural producers face and has been a key player in efforts to support producers in the 13th District.

Widely respected as an innovator and strategic thinker, Mac was one of the first in Congress to recognize the need to confront terrorism. He has consistently been on the leading edge of critical national security issues, has written widely on defense matters, and appeared on all major cable and network television channels providing congressional insight on national security issues.

In Congress, Mac has previously served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as on the Budget Committee, Resources Committee, and the Select Committee on Homeland Security.  He was also tapped to chair the Task Force on Cybersecurity in 2011 and 2012.

Born in Clarendon and raised on the family ranch in Donley County, Mac graduated from Clarendon High School before continuing his education at Texas Tech University. After obtaining a B.A. in history from Tech in 1980, he went on to the University of Texas Law School where he graduated in 1983. For the next several years, he worked in Washington, including serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the State Department under President Reagan.  In 1989, Mac joined his brothers in the cattle business and practiced law in Amarillo.  He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.

Mac's wife, Sally, is also a native Texan. They have two children.