Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Farewell, Sir!

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Farewell, Sir!

Article excerpt

For the WQ and its parent institution, the Woodrow Wilson Center, this autumn brings a landmark event. President and director Lee Hamilton is stepping down after 12 years at the Center's helm to return to Indiana, whose Ninth District he represented in Congress for 34 years. Lee departs with the profound respect and affection of all those who had the privilege of serving with him at the Center and sharing in its growing achievements and recognition under his leadership.

At a time when Americans' confidence in public life is at low ebb, there are larger lessons in Lees exemplary life in public service. His career has taken him from the chairnanship of such important House committees as Foreign Affairs and Intelligence to many other public duties, including vice chairmanship of the 9/11 Commission. But while he is universally considered one of Washington's "wise men," Lee is also to his bones a small "d" democrat, as apt to pull up a chair in the Center's lunchroom with a table flail of interns as with the Center's scholars. A living symbol of bipartisanship in a city where that quality is exceedingly rare, he has shown that being in the middle is not a matter of being wishy-washy. …

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