Lee H. Hamilton is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University. Hamilton represented Indiana’s 9th congressional district for 34 years beginning January 1965. He served as chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. As a member of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee Hamilton was a primary draftsman of several House ethics reforms.
Since leaving the House, Hamilton has served on several commissions including serving as Vice-Chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission), co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, the National Commission on the War Powers of the President and the Congress, and the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. He is currently a member of the FBI Director’s Advisory Board, the Defense Secretary’s National Security Study Group, and the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force on Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect on American Soil.
Well I think how things work, it takes an awful lot of effort by a lot of people. And building a community of interests, building consensus, I think, is really the great challenge. The overwhelming challenge in the world today for the United States is how we use this power – unrivaled power, unprecedented power, unmatched power – economically, militarily, technologically, culturally? How we use that power to protect American interests and to make a better world – safer, more prosperous. That is the great challenge for the country now, and I think will be for many, many years to come. Recorded on: 7/5/07