Woodrow Wilson Center Welcomes New President

Article excerpt

On February 8, The Woodrow Wilson Center's board of trustees ushered in a new era with the appointment of Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.) as the Center's director, president, and CEO. Harman resigned her long-held congressional seat, telling reporters that the opportunity to lead and shape the direction of the country's premier policy incubator--one with international reach and influence--is a thrilling next step for me."

Like her predecessor, Lee H. Hamilton, who represented Indiana's Ninth Congressional District in the House of Representatives for more than three decades before becoming director of the Wilson Center, Harman brings an insider's understanding of the ways the Wilson Center's offerings-public debate, research, and scholarship-can find traction in Washington and beyond. Hamilton's "centered, principled, and pragmatic" leadership of the Wilson Center will serve as an inspiration and guide, she said.

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Raised in Los Angeles, Harman displayed from an early age the enthusiasm for policy that would eventually bring her to the Wilson Center. She attended the 1960 Democratic Convention and witnessed the nomination of John E Kennedy for president. While working as a Smith College organizer for Young Citizens for Johnson in 1964, the high-spirited teenager wrote to her parents, 'Tin flying! NEVER have I been so sure of my love for politics, for organizing, for leading--what a week! ... I'm one of those freaks of nature they call super-energetic" She was passionate about learning as well: She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1966, and earned her JD from Harvard Law School, where she was one of several dozen women in a class of 550. …