About the Eisenhower Award

The BENS Eisenhower Award honors the contributions of public servants and private citizens who safeguard our freedom as well as the balance, as President Eisenhower said in his prophetic farewell address over five decades ago, “between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future.” Like the nation’s 34th president, “we want democracy to survive for all generations to come.”  Since it was first presented to Tom Watson, Jr. (Chairman & CEO of IBM) and Peter Grace (President & CEO of W.R. Grace & Company) in 1986, the BENS Eisenhower Award has been presented to more than 100 of the most deserving, patriotic Americans from the business community, military and public sector.

Upcoming Award Gala

The next presentation of the Eisenhower Award will be at the 2022 Fall Eisenhower Award Dinner on October 28. This event will be held in conjunction with the BENS 40th Anniversary Forum, "Stronger Together: Courageous Conversations About the Role of Trust in Securing Our Nation."

Past Recipients

The Eisenhower Award semiannually recognizes public servants and private citizens who have made considerable contributions toward President Dwight Eisenhower’s holistic definition of national security, described as, “…the total product of our economic, intellectual, moral and military strength.” Recipients include:

Military Leaders

General John W. Raymond, USSF (November 2021)
Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force

General Gus Perna, US Army (April 2021)
Chief Operating Officer, Operation Warp Speed

Gina C. Haspel (October 2020)
Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Micheael M. Crow (October 2020)
Chairman, In-Q-Tel/Presdient, Arizona State University

General David L. Goldfein, USAF (June 2020)
Chief of Staff, United States Air Force

General Paul M. Nakasone, USA (October 2019)
Commander, United States Cyber Command / Director, National Security Agency

General Joseph L. Lengyel, USAF (October 2018)
Chief of the National Guard Bureau

General Paul J. Selva, USAF (April 2018)
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Joseph Dunford, USMC (April 2017)
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

General John E. Hyten, USAF (October 2016)
Commander, United States Strategic Command

Dr. Ashton B. Carter (April 2016)
United States Secretary of Defense

General John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.) (April 2015)
Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Combat ISIL

Admiral William H. McRaven, USN (May 2014)
Commander, United States Special Operations Command

General Keith B. Alexander, USA (October 2013)
Commander, United States Cyber Command / Director, National Security Agency

General Raymond T. Odierno, USA (May 2013)
Chief of Staff, United States Army

Leon E. Panetta (October 2012)
United States Secretary of Defense

Admiral James G. Stavridis, USN (May 2012)
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe / Commander, United States European Command

Admiral Eric T. Olson, USN (Ret.) (November 2011)
Former Commander, United States Special Operations Command

General Charles G. Boyd, USAF (Ret.) (May 2010)
Former President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security

General David H. Petraeus, USA (November 2008)
Commander, United States Central Command

Robert M. Gates (May 2008)
United States Secretary of Defense

General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (November 2007)
Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Admiral Vern Clark, USN (Ret.) (November 2006)
Former Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy

General Eric K. Shinseki, USA (Ret.) (November 2006)
Former Chief of Staff, United States Army

Admiral William J. Fallon, USN (October 2006)
Commander, United States Pacific Command

General John P. Abizaid, USA (October 2005)
Commander, United States Central Command

General James L. Jones, USMC (November 2004)
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe / Commander, United States European Command

General Tommy R. Franks, USA (Ret.) (May 2004)
Former Commander, United States Central Command

General Richard B. Myers, USAF (November 2003)
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Donald H. Rumsfeld (May 2003)
United States Secretary of Defense

General Henry H. Shelton, USA (May 2001)
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

William S. Cohen (May 1999)
United States Secretary of Defense

William J. Perry (May 1996)
United States Secretary of Defense

Admiral William Crowe, USN (Ret.) (1990)
Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Business Leaders

Gwynne Shotwell (November 2021)
President & COO, SpaceX

Alex Gorsky (April 2021)
Chairman & CEO, Johnson & Johnson

Michael F. Roman (October 2020)
Chairman of the Board & CEO, 3M

Thomas J. Campbell (June 2020)
Founder & Managing Partner, DC Capital Partners

Eren & Fatih Ozmen (June 2020)
Owners, Sierra Nevada Corporation

Charles E. Phillips (October 2019)
Chairman, Infor

Ross Perot, Jr. (April 2019)
Chairman, The Perot Companies and Hillwood

Roger T. Staubach (October 2018)
Former Executive Chairman, JLL Americas

Chuck Robbins (April 2018)
Chairman & CEO, Cisco

Greg Q. Brown (October 2017)
Chairman & CEO, Motorola Solutions

Ray C. Davis (April 2017)
Principal Owner & Co-Chairman, Texas Rangers
Chairman & CEO, Avatar Investments, L.P.

Jeff Bezos (October 2016)
Founder, Amazon.com and Blue Origin

Robert A. Belfer (April 2016)
Chairman, Belfer Management LLC

Joseph J. Plumeri (November 2015)
Vice Chairman, First Data Corporation

Kevin A. Plank (April 2015)
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Under Armour, Inc.

Reginald K. Brack (October 2014)
Chairman Emeritus, Time, Inc.

Craig J. Mundie (October 2013)
Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation

Andrew N. Liveris (May 2013)
Chairman, President & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company

Frank J. Bisignano (October 2012)
Co-Chief Operating Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Mortgage Banking CEO, Chase

MG Josue “Joe” Robles, Jr., USA (Ret.) (May 2012)
President & CEO, USAA

Dr. Dana G. Mead, Ph.D. (November 2011)
Former Chairman, MIT Corporation / Former Chairman & CEO, Tenneco Corp

Joseph E. Robert, Jr. (May 2011)
Founder & Executive Chairman, J.E. Robert Companies

Mary and David Boies (November 2010)

Robert E. Rubin (November 2007)
Former Secretary of the Treasury / Chairman of the Executive Committee, Citigroup, Inc.

Norman R. Augustine (May 2006)
Former Chairman & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Frederick W. Smith (May 2005)
Chairman, President & CEO, FedEx Corporation

Ross Perot (March 2004)
Chairman Emeritus, Perot Systems, Inc.

Maurice R. Greenberg (November 2003)
Chairman & CEO, American International Group, Inc.

Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. (November 2002)
Vice Chairman & President, Verizon Communications

BG Peter M. Dawkins, USA (Ret.) (November 2000)
Vice Chairman, Citigroup Private Banking

James V. Kimsey (May 2000)
Co-Founder, America Online, Inc.

Denis A. Bovin (November 1999)
Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, Bear Stearns & Co., Inc.

Raphael Benaroya (November 1999)
Chairman & CEO, United Retail Group, Inc.

John C. Whitehead (November 1998)
Chairman, AEA Investors

The Chemical Manufacturers Assoc. (November 1997)

Bernard L. Schwartz (November 1996)
Chairman & CEO, Loral Corporation

Lawrence S. Huntington (November 1995)
Chairman & CEO, Fiduciary Trust International

Josh S. Weston (November 1994)
Chairman & CEO, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.

Sidney Harman (May 1994)
Chairman & CEO, Harman International Industries, Inc.

Anne W. Halsted (1993)
Commissioner, Port of San Francisco

Roswell L. Gilpatric (November 1993)
Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP

Stanley A. Weiss (1992)
Chairman & Founder, Business Executives for National Security

Tom Peters (1988)

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. (1986)
Chairman & CEO (Ret.), IBM Corporation

J. Peter Grace (1986)
President & CEO, W.R. Grace & Company, Inc.

Public Servants

Dr. Anthony Fauci (April 2021)
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Michael R. Pompeo (April 2019)
United States Secretary of State

Gary A. Sinise (April 2019)
Founder, President & Chairman, Gary Sinise Foundation

Michael R. Bloomberg (October 2017)
Former Mayor of New York City
Founder & CEO, Bloomberg L.P.

General John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret.) (October 2017)
White House Chief of Staff
Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Former Commander, United States Southern Command

Captain Scott J. Kelly, USN (Ret.) (October 2016)
American Astronaut

Jeh C. Johnson (November 2015)
United States Secretary of Homeland Security

Raymond W. Kelly (October 2014)
Former Commissioner, New York City Police Department / President of Risk Management Services, Cushman & Wakefield

Representative Mike Rogers (May 2014)
Chairman, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. House of Representatives

Hillary Rodham Clinton (November 2009)
United States Secretary of State

Senator Carl Levin (May 2009)

Senator John Warner (May 2009)

Samuel W. Bodman (November 2005)
United States Secretary of Energy

Dr. Condoleezza Rice (May 2002)
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Senator John McCain (May 1998)

Vice President Albert Gore, Jr. (May 1997)

Senator Sam Nunn (May 1995)

Senator Richard G. Lugar (May 1995)

President Jimmy Carter (1992)

Senator Charles E. Grassley (1986)

Representative Mel Levine (1986)

James Fallows (1986)
Washington Editor, The Atlantic Monthly