R. James Woolsey

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R. James Woolsey (1941-) is a U.S. attorney, currently in consulting practice, who held a variety of senior appointments in Republican and Democratic Administrations. He was Director of Central Intelligence from 1993 to 1995. Other positions included Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Vienna, 1989-1991; Under Secretary of the Navy, 1977-1979; and General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, 1970-73. He was appointed by the President as Delegate at Large to the U.S.-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and Nuclear and Space Arms Talks (NST), and served in that capacity on a part-time basis in Geneva, 1983-1986. As an officer in the U.S. Army he was an adviser on the U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), Helsinki and Vienna, 1969-1970. He is married to Suzanne Woolsey.

He is associated with neoconservatism, and signed the 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton, recommending the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. [1]

Current work

He is now Venture Partner and Senior Advisor to the firm of VantagePoint. In addition, he is the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Washington, D.C. private equity fund, Paladin Capital Group; is a Senior Executive Advisor to the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton; and is Of Counsel to the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston-based law firm, Goodwin Procter. He was a partner at the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C., where he practiced for twenty-two years, on four occasions, beginning in 1973; his practice was in the fields of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution.[2]

His public advisory work includes National Commission on Energy Policy, and is currently Co-Chairman (with former Secretary of State George Shultz) of the Committee on the Present Danger. In addition, he is an advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. He is Chairman of the Advisory Boards of the Clean Fuels Foundation and the New Uses Council, and a Trustee of the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments.

Previously he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution, and a trustee of Stanford University. He has also been a member of The National Commission on Terrorism, 1999–2000; The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the U.S. (Rumsfeld Commission), 1998; The President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform, 1989; The President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), 1985–1986; and The President’s Commission on Strategic Forces (Scowcroft Commission), 1983.

Director of Central Intelligence

As Director of Central Intelligence, Woolsey had a very limited relationship with President Bill Clinton. According to journalist Richard Miniter:

Never once in his two-year tenure did CIA director James Woolsey ever have a one-on-one meeting with Clinton. Even semiprivate meetings were rare. They only happened twice. Woolsey told me: "It wasn't that I had a bad relationship with the president. It just didn't exist."[3]

Another quote about his relationship with Clinton, according to Paula Kaufman of Insight Magazine:

Remember the guy who in 1994 crashed his plane onto the White House lawn? That was me trying to get an appointment to see President Clinton.[4]

David Halberstam notes, in War in a Time of Peace that Clinton chose Woolsey for CIA director because the Clinton campaign had courted neoconservatives leading up to the 1992 election, promising to be tougher on Taiwan, Bosnia, and human rights in China, and it was decided that they ought to give at least one neoconservative a job in the administration.

Early life

Born in Oklahoma, he graduated from public high school in in 1959. He received his B.A. Degree from Stanford University (1963, With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), an M.A. from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar 1963-65), and an LL.B from Yale Law School (1968, Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal).

References