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The Almanac of American Politics 2020 called Mac Thornberry “one of Congress’ brainiest and most thoughtful members on national and domestic security issues,” and said that he “has long been at the forefront of national security issues.”  USA Today said Mac has “experience in Washington, a rare long view and a reputation for serious, thoughtful problem-solving.”​

Since leaving Congress after 26 years, which included service as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac continues to work at the intersection of technology and national security.  He serves various companies and non-profit organizations as a board member and advisor.


Consistently on the leading edge of critical national security issues during his time in Congress, Mac led in creating the National Nuclear Security Administration to improve management of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex; establishing the Department of Homeland Security (introducing a bill to do so six months before the attacks of 9/11); preparing the military to defend the nation in new domains of warfare such as space and cyber; and improving DOD’s innovation and acquisition efforts.

In addition to serving on the House Armed Services Committee throughout his time in Congress, Mac also served on the House Intelligence Committee for 14 years. He has written widely on defense matters and appeared on all major television channels providing insight on national security-related issues. 

In December 2021, Mac received the Peace Through Strength Award from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.  He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medals from the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, as well as the Marine Corps Foundation’s Semper Fidelis Award, the American Legion’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the San Nunn National Security Leadership Award from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and awards from the Aerospace Industries Association, Military Officers Association, National Defense Industrial Association, Non Commissioned Officer Association, Computing Technology Industry Association, USO-Metro among others. During the fall 2021 semester, he was a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics in Harvard’s Kennedy School and has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University.


Born in Clarendon, Texas and raised on the family ranch in Donley County, Mac is a graduate of Clarendon High School, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas Law School. After law school he worked in Washington on Capitol Hill and 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 until his election to Congress.

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

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