Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll established the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in 1994, creating a vital support network for those mourning the loss of a military loved one. Motivated by the tragic death of her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, in a 1992 Army plane crash, along with seven other soldiers, Bonnie transformed her personal loss into a purposeful mission. Today, TAPS stands as the leading national organization dedicated to offering compassionate care to those grieving the death of a hero who served their country selflessly.

Since its inception, TAPS has extended its care to hundreds of thousands of bereaved family members, providing a robust network of peer-based emotional support, around-the-clock assistance through a 24/7 helpline, and connections to community-based care nationwide. The organization also offers comprehensive casework assistance, helping families navigate the complexities of available resources and benefits.

In addition to founding and serving as the president of TAPS, Bonnie has also held appointments in the government, including White House Liaison to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under President George W. Bush; Executive Assistant to the President for Cabinet Affairs under President Reagan; and, in Baghdad, Iraq, as the Deputy Senior Advisor for Programs in the Ministry of Communications. During her earlier career in Washington, D.C., Bonnie lived and worked on Capitol Hill as a political consultant on presidential and congressional campaigns and consultant on national defense issues. Today Bonnie also serves as senior advisor to TAPS Ukraine, the sister organization she co-founded following the 2014 Russian invasion, headquartered on the front lines of Ukraine’s fight for freedom.

Bonnie retired as a major in the Air Force Reserve, where her career included service as Chief, Casualty Operations, HQ USAF , and within the Pentagon’s War Plans and Mobilization Office following 9/11. Prior to joining the USAFR, Maj. Carroll served 16 years in the Air National Guard as a Transportation Officer, Logistics Officer, and Executive Officer.

Bonnie has also served on the Defense Health Board; VA Advisory Committee on Families, Caregivers and Survivors; Board of Directors of the Association of Death Education and Counseling; the Department of Defense Military Family Readiness Council; the VA Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation; the Board of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; and she served as co-chair of the Department of Defense Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces. She is co-author of Healing Your Grieving Heart After a Military Death, and she has published numerous articles on grief and trauma following a military death. She has appeared on on CNN, FOX, NBC’s The Today Show,and other national programs speaking about military loss.

In addition to receiving the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, Bonnie was featured in People Magazine as a “Hero Among Us”; was named a recipient of the Community Heroes Award by the Military Officers Association of America; has been recognized by the Defense Department with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service; and has received the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal and the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award.

Bonnie holds a degree in public administration and political science from American University and has completed Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Leadership Program on International Conflict Resolution. She is a graduate of several military service schools, including the USAF Logistics Officer Course, Squadron Officers School, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Academy of Military Science, and USAF Basic Training (Honor Graduate).