Past recipients include global business leaders, visionary innovators, policymakers, and advocates for economic growth and job creation. All awardees share a dedication of advancing the principles of free enterprise.

The award was first presented in 2009 and is named after Ambassador Carol B. Hallett, a trailblazer in the aviation industry who served eight years as president and CEO of the Air Transport Association of America (now called Airlines for America or “A4A”), which represents the chief executive officers of U.S. and foreign flag airline and cargo carriers.

About Carol B. Hallett

Following 9/11, Ambassador Hallett helped craft and pass legislation to save the domestic aviation industry from bankruptcy and took the lead in the redesign of airline security policies and practices. In addition, she was a strong advocate for airline safety, customer satisfaction, high industry standards, modernization, and expansion of airport capacity, as well as a regulatory environment that encourages competitiveness and free trade.

During her career, President George H.W. Bush appointed Hallett Commissioner of the United States Customs Service, where she oversaw a $2.2 billion budget and the processing of more than 1.3 million passengers daily and $1 trillion worth of merchandise annually. Hallett improved Customs’ investigation and enforcement operations, especially in narcotics and money laundering and the interdiction of illegal drugs. She also modernized the agency, automating its processes and tailoring procedures to accommodate the high-tech, global marketplace.

Further, Hallett also served on the CIA director’s National Security Advisory Panel, the Transnational Threats Task Force at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and served on the boards of Rolls-Royce North America, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc., and the All Nippon Airways U.S. Advisory Committee.

Hallett is an accomplished pilot herself. She learned to fly in an Aercoupe, in which she commuted daily to Sacramento, California where she served as a Member of the California Legislature as well as Minority Leader. Having flown for well over 50 years, Hallett did take up sky diving for several years before officially retiring from flying.

General Counsel Opinion

“Executive branch employees—including Schedule C administration appointees— are permitted to accept an “item of little intrinsic value,” such as a plaque, certificate, or trophy that is “intended primarily for presentation.” 5 CFR § 2635.203(b). If the Carol B. Hallett award is consistent with this form, i.e., a plaque or trophy, ideally engraved for presentation, it is acceptable for the Chamber to provide this award to a Schedule C appointee.

Past Recipients

  • 2009: Carol Hallett
  • 2010: Bob Crandall
  • 2011: C.A. Howlett
  • 2012: Russell W. Meyer Jr.
  • 2013: Fred Smith
  • 2014: Herb Kelleher
  • 2015: Gordon Bethune
  • 2016: W. James McNerney Jr.
  • 2017: Allan McArtor
  • 2018: Marion C. Blakey
  • 2019: The Honorable Michael P. Huerta
  • 2020: Jane Garvey
  • 2021: virtual programming due to pandemic
  • 2022: Steve Dickson
  • 2023: Charlie Bolden