Dr. Donahue has had a productive and influential history of research and service to the audiology community specializing in the study of hearing, hearing loss, and balance systems. For over 25 years, as a dedicated public servant, she has been involved with the research programs of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), initially as a health scientist administrator and then as the chief of the hearing and balance/vestibular sciences branch.

During the early years, she worked with a large variety of interlocutors: individual scientists, the leadership of the NIH and NIDCD, along with government, academic and hearing industry leaders. She was a leader in holding exploratory workshop and consensus conference between developers to establish neonatal hearing screening programs, interventions in young children with hearing loss, and focused on translating basic research findings into clinical tools for use in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders.

More recently, as the deputy director of the division of scientific programs, Dr. Donahue has provided the leadership to guide the hearing and balance research community concerning their research programs. She teaches how to obtain funding to support programs, to create direction and policies that help define the future of hearing research, and to foster the translation of hearing research into clinical applications. During this time, she has made a major effort to make hearing healthcare more accessible and affordable to all patients. This initiative resulted in a major contract award to the Institute of Medicine to conduct a consensus study on accessible and affordable hearing health care for adults, which was led by the NIDCD and sponsored by several federal agencies. The resulting prestigious report published this past summer recommended a series of priorities and actions for improving hearing health care. The Honors Committee wholeheartedly agrees that Amy Donahue is recognized as the recipient of the 2017 Career Award in Hearing for her significant contributions to furthering scientific research in the field of hearing loss.