Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Eyes Now Open, America Awaits Baker-Hamilton Bipartisan Report On New Iraq Policy And Restoration Of American Moral Standing In World

"Lee H. Hamilton is Director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University. Established in 1999, the Center is a non-partisan educational institution seeking to improve the public's understanding of Congress and encourage civic engagement. It developed out of Hamilton's recognition during his 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives that the public should be more familiar with Congress' strengths and weaknesses, and its impact on the lives of ordinary people every day.

The Center, located on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, conducts an extensive array of civic education activities, which include: books and other print publications; Web-based, interactive e-learning modules; newspaper, radio and Weblog commentaries; video and television in the classroom resources; survey research; and lecture series, conferences and awards. Information on the Center's efforts to foster an informed electorate that understands our system of government and participates in civic life is at

Hamilton also serves as President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C. The Wilson Center, the nation's official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is a pre-eminent intellectual haven where scholars, policymakers and business leaders engage in a comprehensive and non-partisan dialogue on public policy issues and their effect on national and international thought and governance.

Prior to becoming Director of The Center on Congress and the Wilson Center, Hamilton served from 1965 to 1999 as a U.S. Representative from Indiana. During his tenure, he was Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now the Committee on International Relations). Hamilton also was Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran.

Hamilton established himself as a leading congressional voice on foreign affairs, with particular interests in promoting democracy and market reform in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, promoting peace and stability in the Middle East, expanding U.S. markets and trade overseas, and overhauling U.S. export and foreign aid policies. His tenure in Congress coincided with many significant historical events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Arab/Israeli peace negotiations, and the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Hamilton also has been a leading figure on economic policy and congressional organization. He was Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, working to promote long-term economic growth and development, global market competition, and a sound fiscal policy. As Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress and a member of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee, he was a primary draftsman of several House ethics reforms, and he worked to promote integrity and efficiency in Congress.

Hamilton remains an important and active voice on matters of international relations and American national security. He is a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council, and in March 2006 he was named Co-Chairman, along with former Secretary of State James A. Baker, of the Iraq Study Group. This bipartisan panel, created at the urging of Congress, is assessing the situation in Iraq and will make recommendations on U.S. policy options there.

Previously Hamilton served as Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission), which issued its report in July 2004, and he co-chaired with former Gov. Thomas Kean the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, to monitor implementation of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations. He was Co-Chairman with former Sen. Howard Baker of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos, he served on the United States Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (the Hart-Rudman Commission), and he was a member of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform.

Hamilton is author of two books: How Congress Works and Why You Should Care (Indiana University Press), and A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress (Woodrow Wilson Press). He co-authored with former Gov. Kean Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (Knopf).

Hamilton's service in government has earned him numerous awards. These include the National Conference on Citizenship Citizen of the Year Award in 2005, the United States Capitol Historical Society Freedom Award in 2005, The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Freedom From Fear Award (with Thomas Kean) in 2005, the Indiana Historical Society Living Legends Award in 2005, the Frank O'Bannon Public Service Award in 2005, the Junior Statesmen Foundation Statesman of the Year award (with Kean) in 2005, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in 2005, the University of Illinois Paul H. Douglas Ethics in Government Award (with Kean) in 2005, the American University Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies Distinguished Public Service Award in 2004, the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999, the Paul H. Nitze Award for Distinguished Authority on National Security Affairs in 1999, the American Political Science Association Hubert H. Humphrey Award in 1998, the American Bar Association CEELI Award in 1998, the Center for Civic Education Civitas Award in 1998, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998, the Center for National Policy Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Public Service Award in 1997, the American Political Science Association Outstanding Legislator Award in 1997, the Indiana University President's Medal for Excellence in 1996, the Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study Distinguished Citizen Fellow in 1994, and the Knight of the French Legion of Honor in 1984. In 2006 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Hamilton has received a number of honorary degrees, including degrees from DePauw University, Hanover College, Detroit College of Law, Ball State University, University of Indianapolis, University of Southern Indiana, Wabash College, Union College, Marian College, American University, Indiana University, Suffolk University, Indiana State University, Anderson University, Franklin College, Shenandoah University, Bellarmine University, and Georgetown University.

Hamilton was born in 1931 in Daytona Beach, Fla. His family relocated to Tennessee and then Evansville, Ind. He graduated from DePauw University and Indiana University law school, and he studied for a year at Goethe University in Germany. A former high school and college basketball star, he was inducted into the Indiana basketball Hall of Fame in 1982."

Source and photo credit: Indiana University's Center On Congress. With thanks.


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