President's Nominee for Defense Secretary is "Very Pragmatic," Lee Hamilton '52 Tells AP

President's Nominee for Defense Secretary is "Very Pragmatic," Lee Hamilton '52 Tells AP

April 28, 2011

93515April 28, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — "His approach to problems is very pragmatic," Lee Hamilton says of Leon Panetta, President Barack Obama's choice to serve as the nation's next Secretary of Defense.  The Associated Press notes that Hamilton, a Democrat who served 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, "served with Panetta in the House and worked with him on the Iraq Study Group in 2006." Hamilton, a 1952 graduate of DePauw University, tells AP, "He's not hung up on ego or ideology. He doesn't die on his sword if others disagree with him."

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First elected to Congress in 1964, Lee H. Hamilton has worked with nine presidents and led some of America's most important inquiries and investigations. He served as vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group. As longtime president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University, Hamilton promotes non-partisan dialogue on public policy. He advises the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and President Obama.

On March 15 the veteran statesman returned to DePauw to address "The U.S. Role in the World After Afghanistan and Iraq" in a 4030Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture.  A summary including video clips can be accessed here.

Earlier this month, Hamilton spoke at  Indiana's Manchester College and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Details can be found in this article.

The current defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, visited DePauw in December 2001 and presented an Ubben Lecture on the war on terrorism.