Jim Marshall

President (2012-2014)

Former Congressman Jim Marshall (2003–2011) served as President and CEO of the United States Institute of Peace from 2012 to 2014 and led the Institute through an extensive strategic planning process. He is a business lawyer and law professor, member of the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame, and former mayor of Macon, Georgia. In Congress, Jim was a centrist Democrat well liked on both sides of the aisle. He currently serves on the National Defense Panel and the board of the National Futures Association. Jim taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs during 2011 and 2012. His courses focused upon the limited utility of American military force. In 2013 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world on armed violence reduction by Action on Armed Violence.

Jim served four terms in Congress where he built and maintained strong bipartisan relationships. He served on the Armed Services, Agriculture, and Financial Services Committees. He also chaired the Air Force Caucus, the Financial Markets Caucus, and the Balanced Budget Caucus, as well as West Point’s Board of Visitors. As mayor of Macon, Jim managed 17 departments, two airports, and 1,300-plus employees from 1995 to 1999. During that time, he was elected to the Advisory Board of the United States Conference of Mayors and co-chaired the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

Jim is also an infantry combat veteran. After the Tet Offensive in 1968, he withdrew from Princeton University to volunteer for Vietnam where he served as an Airborne Ranger reconnaissance platoon sergeant. Jim has received numerous military awards and recognitions, including the Purple Heart and membership in the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame.

After his tour in Vietnam, Jim returned to Princeton where he was a University Scholar and graduated in 1972. He then taught high school and founded a successful logging business before attending law school at Boston University. After law school, Jim moved to Macon where he clerked for two federal judges and then became a law professor at Mercer University. For the next 16 years, in addition to numerous civic roles, Jim taught, wrote about, and actively practiced business law, representing companies, financial institutions and individuals in commercial, insolvency, property, and financial matters.

In his eclectic life, Jim has held positions, among others, as an Outward Bound instructor, mechanic, welder, high school teacher, logger, short order cook and restaurant manager. He is a voracious reader, outdoorsman and piddler who is active in many sports. His wife, Camille Hope, is an attorney and bankruptcy trustee. His daughter, Mary, a 2010 Princeton grad, is a Teach for America alumna still teaching and living in Harlem. His son, Robert, graduated from Princeton in 2013.

Expert In the News

Articles & Analysis from this Expert

November 9, 2013

Every Veterans Day, our nation pays tribute to those who have defended America through military service. There is no better way of honoring this service than recommitting to preventing violent conflict where we can, reflecting the truism that the best battles are those never fought. That is the work of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Put simply, we stop fights. As a ground combat veteran of Vietnam who knows the terrifying and tragic reality of violent conflict, it is a special privilege for me to lead this organization.