TopVet: Samuel K. Skinner

Samuel Skinner

Samuel K. Skinner has turned out to be one of the Army’s best. He has been appointed by three U.S. presidents for high public service positions, led blue chip corporations, and is revered as a leading collegiate educator.

From July 2000 through 2003, Skinner served as President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Freightways, a global leader in the transportation and logistics industry with a workforce of over 22,000 employees and with annual revenues in excess of $2.5 billion. In every year that Mr. Skinner served as CEO of USF Corporation, the company was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the most admired corporations in America and received numerous awards for excellence from national publications and customers. As Mr. Skinner retired in May of 2003, he was specifically hailed for preparing the company’s information technology and human resource capabilities for future growth.

Prior to joining U.S. Freightways, Mr. Skinner was President of the Commonwealth Edison Company and its holding company Unicom Corporation, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. During his five years at Unicom, he helped position the company for the emerging competitive market and had operating responsibilities involving the regulated and unregulated activities of the business. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Skinner led the company’s successful effort to obtain landmark legislation to restructure the electric utility industry in Illinois.

After retiring from Commonwealth Edison Company and Unicom, Mr. Skinner served as Co-Chairman of Hopkins & Sutter, a national law firm based in Chicago prior to assuming his current position.

Mr. Skinner served as Chief of Staff to the first President George Bush. As Chief of Staff, he coordinated the activities of numerous cabinet departments and administrative agencies reporting to the President. Prior to his White House Service, Mr. Skinner served in the President’s Cabinet for nearly three years as Secretary of Transportation. In that capacity, he served as Chief Executive Officer of a Department with a budget of over $30 billion and a workforce of 105,000 people.

As Secretary, Mr. Skinner was credited with numerous successes, including the development of the President’s National Transportation Policy and the development and passage of landmark aviation and surface transportation legislation. He also developed our country’s "Open Skies" policy which liberalized U.S. international aviation policy and significantly increased the number of international flights to and from the U.S.

In addition, Mr. Skinner acted as the President’s point person in numerous crisis situations, including the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the Eastern Airlines strike, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the northern California earthquake, Hurricane Hugo, and the 1991 national rail strike. Washingtonian magazine twice gave Mr. Skinner it's highest ranking for his performance as Secretary of Transportation and he has also received numerous awards from the transportation industry.

In 1983, Mr. Skinner was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Presidents Commission on Organized Crime where he served as Vice Chairman.

In 1975, President Ford appointed Mr. Skinner United States Attorney, one of the few career prosecutors ever to hold that position. In this position, he managed one of the Department of Justice’s largest and most respected field offices. While in the US Attorney’s office, Mr. Skinner investigated and successfully litigated various complex financial fraud, official corruption, and civil rights cases.

Mr. Skinner graduated from the University of Illinois in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He served as a Lieutenant and a tank platoon leader in the United States Army in 1960-1961 and is an honor graduate of the Army Officers Basic Course. He graduated from DePaul University Law School in 1966, where he served on the law review.

Mr. Skinner has taught courses at both the John Marshall Law School and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. In addition, he has served as a guest lecturer at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and has also lectured at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business where he held the Poling Chair of Government and Business.

Mr. Skinner has served on numerous Corporate Public Boards. He is also involved with numerous charitable and not-for-profit organizations at the local and national level. He is a Director of the United States Chamber of Commerce where he serves as Chairman of the Institute for Legal Reform, the nation’s leading organization advocating reform of our nation’s tort system including changes in class action, medical malpractice, and massive tort liability systems.

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