Since 2011, the America Competes Award has recognized an individual, who, throughout the course of their life and career, has demonstrated a commitment to working across the lines of business, academia, and politics for the strengthening of U.S. competitiveness and the betterment of our communities, our nation and the world. These leaders personify commitment to outstanding leadership and philanthropy both at home and abroad. They have served with distinction in public life and have shown a special commitment to seeking out informed opinions and thoughtful views that impact change. The award is presented annually at a fundraising dinner and policy forum in New York City, benefiting the Council on Competitiveness.
Frederick W. Smith is chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corp., a $45 billion global transportation, business services, and logistics company.
Born in 1944 in Marks, Mississippi, Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1966. He served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970. He took a college term paper and turned it into FedEx, a $58 billion company with some 400,000 team members around the world. FedEx reaches 99 percent of the global GDP. His foresight and commitment to his vision to connect the world have single-handedly changed the way global businesses function.
He is responsible for providing strategic direction for all FedEx Corp. operating companies, including FedEx Services, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight. Since founding FedEx in 1971, he has been an active proponent of regulatory reform, free trade, and “open skies agreements” for aviation around the world. Most recently, he has advocated for vehicle energy-efficiency standards and a national energy policy.
Mr. Smith is co-chairman of the Energy Security Leadership Council, a trustee for the United States Council for International Business, and a member of the Business Roundtable. He served as chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and is co-chairman of the French-American Business Council. He has also served on the boards of several large public companies and on the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Mayo Foundation boards. He was formerly chairman of the board of governors for the International Air Transport Association and the U.S. Air Transport Association.
Mr. Smith has also spearheaded FedEx’s use of alternative fuels and other creative solutions to minimize the company’s environmental impact, serving as an example for other business leaders. Mr. Smith has won numerous awards and under his leadership, FedEx has been recognized many times as one of the best companies to work for.
Mr. Smith has received numerous civic, academic, and business awards, including the Global Leadership Award from the U.S.-India Business Council, the George C. Marshall Foundation Award, and the Circle of Honor Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. In addition, he is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, served as co-chairman of both the U.S. World War II Memorial Project and the campaign for the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and was named a top CEO by Barron’s and Chief Executive magazines.
Charles O. Holliday, Jr., was appointed Chairman of the Company with effect from May 2015, having previously served as a Non-Executive Director since September 2010. He is the retired Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of DuPont, positions he held for 11 years. He was a Director on the Board of Directors at Bank of America since 2009, and served as Chairman from 2010 until October 2014. He serves as a member of the board of directors of Deere & Co., and CH2MHILL. He is a member (Chair) of both the National Academy of Engineering and the Executive Committee of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). He is Chairman Emeritus of the board of the Council on Competitiveness, a founding member of the International Business Council and previously served as Chairman of the following organizations: Catalyst, an organization supporting women’s advancement in leadership positions; The Business Council; Society of Chemical Industry, American Section; and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). He currently also serves as the Chairman of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils.