Gold Stars

Hon. Mary Bono

National Advisory Board

Linkedin Profile:


A successful businesswoman and well-known political leader, Congresswoman Mary Bono was hailed as the “embodiment of powerful American womanhood” by the Washington Times, rising to become Chairman of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. 

Congresswoman Bono was elected in 1998 to serve California’s 44th (later changed to 45th) Congressional District after the untimely death of her husband, entertainer turned Congressman Sonny Bono. Bono established herself as a respected and closely watched leader on a wide range of critically important issues while serving eight terms in Congress (1998-2013). She focused her chairmanship on technology, job creation, and intellectual property. 

Bono’s selection as Subcommittee Chairman for the 112th Congress was historic and made her the first Republican woman in American history to hold a gavel on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the oldest standing committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, dating back to 1795. She also served on the House Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Small Business Committee. Over her years in Congress, she authored legislation that was signed into law by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, proving to be a true bipartisan consensus builder. 

Bono has been at the forefront of the nationwide fight against opioid and prescription drug abuse. Over her career, she became one of Congress’s strongest advocates for mental health and substance addiction treatment. Today, she is widely recognized as a national leader for issues important for overdose and addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery. 

Currently, Bono is a consultant, the Chairman and CEO of Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA), and has served on numerous boards, both non-profit and for-profit. She is married to former astronaut Admiral Steve Oswald (U.S. Navy, Retired).