Lee Hamilton, left, and James Baker
explain the purpose of the Iraq Study
Group to journalists at a press
conference held at USIP.
The Iraq Study Group was a bipartisan group of prominent Americans. It was led by co-chairs James A. Baker, III, the nation’s 61st secretary of state and honorary chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and Lee H. Hamilton, former congressman and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
The other members of the study group included:
- Lawrence S. Eagleburger
- Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
- Edwin Meese III
- Sandra Day O'Connor
- Leon E. Panetta
- William J. Perry
- Charles S. Robb
- Alan K. Simpson
James A. Baker, III has served in senior government positions under three United States Presidents. He served as the nation's 61st Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Mr. Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post Cold War era. In 1995, Mr. Baker published The Politics of Diplomacy, his reflections on those years of revolution, war and peace.
Mr. Baker served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. As Treasury Secretary, he was also Chairman of the President's Economic Policy Council. From 1981 to 1985, he served as White House Chief of Staff to President Reagan. Mr. Baker's record of public service began in 1975 as Under Secretary of Commerce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.
Long active in American presidential politics, Mr. Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992.
A native Houstonian, Mr. Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, he entered the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. He received his J.D. with honors in 1957, and practiced law with the Houston firm of Andrews and Kurth from 1957 to 1975.
Mr. Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public service, including Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson Award, The American Institute for Public Service's Jefferson Award, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government Award, The Hans J. Morgenthau Award, The George F. Kennan Award, the Department of the Treasury's Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of State's Distinguished Service Award, and numerous honorary academic degrees.
Mr. Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts. He is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Baker served as the Personal Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr. Baker was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt.
Mr. Baker was born in Houston, Texas in 1930. He and his wife, the former Susan Garrett, currently reside in Houston, and have eight children and seventeen grandchildren.
Lee H. Hamilton became director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in January, 1999. Previously, Hamilton served for thirty-four years as a United States Congressman from Indiana. During his tenure, he served as chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now the Committee on International Relations) and chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East from the early 1970s until 1993. He was chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, and the October Surprise Task Force. Also a leading figure on economic policy and congressional organization, he served as chair of the Joint Economic Committee as well as the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, and was a member of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee.
Hamilton remains an important and active voice on matters of international relations and foreign affairs. He served as a commissioner on the United States Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (the Hart-Rudman Commission), co-chair of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos, commissioner of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, and vice-chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9-11 Commission). He is currently a member of the advisory council for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, co-chairman of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future, and of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Hamilton's distinguished service in government has been honored through numerous awards in public service and human rights. He has received over 15 honorary degrees from academic institutions across the United States. Hamilton is a graduate of DePauw University and Indiana University law school, and studied for a year at Goethe University in Germany. Before his election to Congress, he practiced law in Chicago and Columbus, Indiana.
Lawrence S. Eagleburger served as the 62nd U.S. Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush. A career diplomat, Eagleburger held numerous high-ranking positions in the presidential administrations of both Republicans and Democrats. Eagleburger has received a number of awards for his government service including, in 1992, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award—the department’s highest honor. In 1994, he received an honorary knighthood from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. is a senior managing director of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC in New York. Prior to joining Lazard, Jordan was a senior executive partner with the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he remains senior counsel. While there, Jordan practiced general, corporate, legislative and international law in Washington, D.C. He previously held the following positions: president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.; director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council; attorney-consultant, U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; assistant to the executive director of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia field director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia. Jordan’s presidential appointments include: the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation; the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa; the Advisory Council on Social Security; the Presidential Clemency Board; the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission; the National Advisory Committee on Selective Service; and the Council of the White House Conference “To Fulfill These Rights.” He served as chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team in 1992.
Jordan’s corporate and other directorships include: American Express Company; Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; Dow Jones & Company, Inc.; Howard University (Trustee); J.C. Penney Company, Inc.; Lazard Ltd; Xerox Corporation; International Advisory Board of DaimlerChrysler and Barrick Gold. Jordan is a member of the Bars of Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and The Bilderberg Meetings, and is president of The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Jordan is the author of Vernon Can Read! A Memoir (2001). He is a graduate of DePauw University and the Howard University Law School, and holds honorary degrees from more than sixty colleges and universities.
Edwin Meese III holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy research and education institution. He is also the chairman of Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, California. In addition, Meese lectures, writes, and consults throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.
Meese is the author of With Reagan: The Inside Story, which was published by Regnery Gateway in June 1992; co-editor of Making America Safer, published in 1997 by The Heritage Foundation; and co-author of Leadership, Ethics and Policing, published by Prentice Hall in 2004.
Meese served as the 75th attorney general of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, he directed the Department of Justice and led international efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime. In 1985 he received the Government Executive magazine’s annual award for excellence in management.
From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the position of counsellor to the President, the senior position on the White House staff, where he functioned as the president’s chief policy advisor. As attorney general and as counsellor, Meese was a member of the president’s Cabinet and the National Security Council. He served as chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and of the National Drug Policy Board. Meese headed the President-elect’s transition effort following the November 1980 election. During the Presidential campaign, he served as chief of staff and senior issues advisor for the Reagan-Bush Committee.
Formerly, Meese served as Governor Reagan’s executive assistant and chief of staff in California from 1969 through 1974 and as legal affairs secretary from 1967 through 1968. Before joining Governor Reagan’s staff in 1967, Meese served as deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California. From 1977 to 1981, Meese was a professor of law at the University of San Diego, where he also was director of the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management.
In addition to his background as a lawyer, educator and public official, Meese has been a business executive in the aerospace and transportation industry, serving as vicep resident for administration of Rohr Industries, Inc. in Chula Vista, California. He left Rohr to return to the practice of law, engaging in corporate and general legal work in San Diego County.
Meese is a graduate of Yale University, Class of 1953, and holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a retired colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He is active in numerous civic and educational organizations. Meese is married, has two grown children and resides in McLean, Virginia.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired as an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court. Nominated to the court by President Reagan, she took the oath of office on September 25, 1981. O’Connor was previously appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals by Governor Bruce Babbitt (1979-1981), and served as judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona (1975-1979). She served as Arizona state senator in 1969 and subsequently reelected to two two-year terms (1969-1975) and was assistant attorney general in Arizona (1965-1969).
O’Connor serves as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary, on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, the executive board of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, and the American Bar Association Museum of Law board of directors. She was previously president and member of the board of trustees of The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona; member of the board of directors and secretary of the Arizona Academy; member of the Board of Junior Achievement, Arizona; member of the board of directors of the Phoenix Historical Society; member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; and member of the Cathedral Chapter of the Washington National Cathedral.
O’Connor is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Arizona, State Bar of California, Maricopa County Bar Association, Arizona Judges’ Association, National Association of Women Judges, and Arizona Women Lawyers’ Association. She holds a B.A. (with Great Distinction) and an LL.B. (Order of the Coif) from Stanford University, where she was a member of the board of editors of the Stanford Law Review.
Leon E. Panetta currently co-directs the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay, a non-partisan study center for the advancement of public policy. He serves as distinguished scholar to the chancellor of the California State University system, teaches a Master's in Public Policy course at the Panetta Institute, is a presidential professor at Santa Clara University, and created the Leon Panetta Lecture Series.
Panetta was appointed chief of staff to the president in 1994, and served in that position until 1997. He served as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Clinton Administration from 1993 to 1994. Panetta was a U.S. representative from California's 16th (now 17th) district from 1977 to 1993. He served as chairman of the House Committee on the Budget and chaired the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations and Nutrition; the House Administration Committee's Subcommittee on Personnel and Police; and the Select Committee on Hunger's Task Force on Domestic Hunger. He was vice chairman of the Caucus of Vietnam Era Veterans in Congress and a member of the president's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies. Panetta previously practiced law in the Monterey firm of Panetta, Thompson & Panetta, and was executive assistant to the mayor of New York City, special assistant to the secretary of health, education and welfare, and director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights. He began his career as a legislative assistant to senate minority whip Thomas H. Kuchel of California.
He serves on many public policy and organizational boards including as chair of the Pew Oceans Commission and co-chair of the California Council on Base Support and Retention.
He has received many awards and honors including the John H. Chafee Coastal Stewardship Award, the Julius A. Stratton Award for Coastal Leadership and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency.
Panetta is the author of Bring Us Together (1971), an account of his experiences at the U.S. Office for Civil Rights. He earned a B.A. magna cum laude and a J.D. from Santa Clara University, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He served as a first lieutenant in the Army from 1964 to 1966 and received the Army Commendation Medal.
William J. Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian professor at Stanford University, with a joint appointment at FSI and the School of Engineering. He is a senior fellow at FSI and serves as co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Stanford and Harvard Universities. He is an expert in U.S. foreign policy, national security and arms control. He was the co-director of CISAC from 1988 to 1993, during which time he was also a professor (half time) at Stanford. He was a part-time lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Santa Clara University from 1971 to 1977.
Perry was the 19th secretary of defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as deputy secretary of defense (1993-1994) and as under secretary of defense for research and engineering (1977-1981). He is on the board of directors of several emerging high-tech companies and is chairman of Global Technology Partners. His previous business experience includes serving as a laboratory director for General Telephone and Electronics (1954-1964); founder and president of ESL Inc. (1964-1977); executive vice-president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc. (1981-1985); and founder and chairman of Technology Strategies & Alliances (1985-1993). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the Army Corps of Engineers, and served in the Army of Occupation in Japan. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1948 and was a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves from 1950 to 1955. He has received a number of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1997), the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1980 and 1981), and Outstanding Civilian Service Medals from the Army (1962 and 1997), the Air Force (1997), the Navy (1997), the Defense Intelligence Agency (1977 and 1997), NASA (1981) and the Coast Guard (1997). He has received decorations from the governments of Albania, Bahrain, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Charles S. Robb joined the faculty of George Mason University as a distinguished professor of law and public policy in 2001. Previously he served as lieutenant governor of Virginia, from 1978 to 1982, as Virginia’s 64th governor, from 1982 to 1986, and as a United States senator, from 1989 to 2001.
During his tenure in the Senate he became the only member of Congress ever to serve simultaneously on all three national security committees (Intelligence, Armed Services, and Foreign Relations). He also served on the Finance, Commerce, and Budget Committees, as well as the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
Before becoming a member of Congress he chaired: the Southern Governors’ Association, the Democratic Governors’ Association, the Education Commission of the States, the Democratic Leadership Council, Jobs for America’s Graduates, the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors and the Virginia Forum on Education, and was president of the Council of State Governments.
Since leaving the Senate in 2001 he has served as: chairman of the Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Academy, co-chairman (with senior judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit) of the President’s Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction and co-chairman (with former governor Linwood Holton) of a major landowner’s alliance that created a special tax district to finance the extension of Metrorail to Tyson’s Corner, Reston and Dulles Airport. He has also been a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and at the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.
He is currently a member of: the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the secretary of state’s Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board, the FBI director’s Advisory Board and the MITRE Corporation board of trustees. He also serves on the boards of: the Space Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, the Concord Coalition, Strategic Partnerships LLC and the Center for the Study of the Presidency - and on occasional projects with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Alan K. Simpson served from 1979 to 1997 as a United States senator from Wyoming. Following his first term in the Senate, Simpson was elected by his peers to the position of the assistant majority leader in 1984—and served in that capacity until 1994.
From January of 1997 until June of 2000, Simpson was a Visiting Lecturer. For two years, he was the director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. During the Fall of 2000 he returned to his Alma Mater, the University of Wyoming, as a visiting lecturer in the Political Science Department and continues to part time-team teach there with his brother Peter.
He is also a partner in the Cody firm of Simpson, Kepler and Edwards, the Cody division of the Denver firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine, and also a consultant in the Washington D.C. government relations firm, The Tongour, Simpson, Holsclaw Group. He continues to serve on numerous corporate and non-profit boards and travels the country giving speeches. His book published by William Morrow Company, Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press, chronicles his personal experiences and views of the Fourth Estate.
Simpson was elected in 1964 to the Wyoming State Legislature as a state representative of his native Park County. He served for the next thirteen years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of majority whip, majority floor leader and speaker pro tempore.
After being admitted to the Wyoming Bar and the United States District Court in 1958, and serving for a short time as a Wyoming assistant attorney general, Simpson joined his father, Milward L. Simpson, and later Charles G. Kepler, in the law firm of Simpson, Kepler and Simpson in his hometown of Cody. He would practice law there for the next eighteen years. During that time, Simpson was very active in all civic, community and state activities. He also served ten years as City Attorney.