(Washington) – The Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) announced today the appointment of Congressman Jim Marshall (2003-2011) as the fourth President of the Institute. Currently a lecturer at Princeton University, Marshall will assume the presidency on September 14. As president, Marshall will oversee the next phase of development in the Institute's conflict management work and its professional training programs.
He succeeds Ambassador Richard H. Solomon, who has led the Institute for the last 19 years.
"It is with great pleasure and strong confidence that we appoint Jim Marshall to be the fourth president of the United States Institute of Peace," said J. Robinson West, chairman of the Board of Directors. "Jim brings a rich, diverse background to the Institute that the Board found very attractive. As a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Jim has experienced firsthand the dire consequences of violent conflict. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he carefully navigated a course through the choppy waters of partisanship to build a solid record of bi-partisanship. He will be able to call upon his time as a professor at Mercer University and lecturer at Princeton as he leads the Institute's Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding to an even higher profile among our government partners. He is a smart, inspiring leader. We are proud that he has agreed to become the Institute's next president."
Jim Marshall, a Democrat, represented the district around Macon, Georgia, in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011. As a Member of Congress, Marshall served on the Armed Services, Agriculture, and Financial Services Committees. While in Congress, he also served as chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He had earlier served as mayor of Macon from 1995 to 1999. Born in Ithaca, New York, in 1948, Marshall is the son and grandson of Army generals. In 1968, he left college to enlist in the U.S. Army. He served in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger reconnaissance platoon sergeant. He was awarded two Bronze Stars (with "V" devices for valor) and a Purple Heart. In 2006, Marshall was inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame. After returning from Vietnam, he returned to Princeton, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1972, and later earned his law degree from Boston University in 1977.
"I am humbled, honored and pleased to join a talented and committed team whose mission is critically important to the United States and the world" Marshall said. "My thanks to the Institute's board for this opportunity. And my thanks to the Institute's great staff for all they have done in the past and what we will do together in the future."
The Institute's congressional charter tasks the Board of Directors with selecting the president of the Institute. Led by Vice Chairman George Moose, the search for a new executive began in January 2012 when Solomon officially announced his intention to step down at the end of his term on September 13.
"When we began this journey in January, the Board sought to articulate carefully the skills the new president should possess to lead the nation's global conflict management center," said Ambassador Moose. "Jim Marshall embodies the energy, experience, and leadership skills that we feel are vital to building upon the Institute's role as an indispensible agency in the prevention, mediation, and alleviation of international violent conflict."
Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent federal agency, the Institute is now the leader in training, educating, and implementing programs that help manage conflict through nonviolent means and that create structures to maintain peace in post-conflict situations. Current President Richard Solomon oversaw the expansion of USIP from a small educational and analytical organization into an operational agency with offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq, as well as a presence in Pakistan and Libya.
"I am extremely pleased that the Institute's Board of Directors has selected former Congressman Jim Marshall as the next president of the United States Institute of Peace," said outgoing President Richard H. Solomon. "He has an impressive record of public service at several levels of government, including four terms in Congress, as well as an outstanding record of service in the U.S. Army. He has the experience and vision to build on the Institute's foundations of three decades of programmatic work in international conflict management and peacebuilding. These activities are a recognized contribution to the national security needs of our country, especially in building civilian capacity for conflict management and developing partnerships that are so critical, especially in constrained economic times."
Past USIP presidents include University of Virginia constitutional and national security law professor Robert F. Turner (1986-1987) and former Ambassador Samuel W. Lewis (1987-1992).