The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1931. He received a B.A. from DePauw University in 1952 and spent the following year at Goethe University in Frankfort, Germany. In 1956 he was awarded a J.D. from Indiana University. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1965 and served there for 34 years. Mr. Hamilton is noted for his tenure as chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran.
He has served also as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and of the Subcommittee on Economic Goals and Intergovernmental Policy; as ranking member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East; as vice president of the Congressional Delegation to the U.S. Group of the Interparliamentary Union; and as a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, and the Standards of Official Conduct Committee. He retired from Congress in 1999. From 1999 through 2010, Hamilton served as President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Hamilton also served as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, to which he was appointed in 2003 by President George W. Bush. In addition to the commission, Hamilton has served on numerous boards and advisory councils in his post-Congress career.
He has received numerous awards for distinguished public service, including Knight of the French Legion of Honor, the Defense Intelligence Agency Medallion, the Central Intelligence Agency Medallion, the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities 25th Anniversary Award, the American Farm Bureau Federation Golden Plow Award, the Federation of German-American Clubs Gen. Lucius D. Clay Award, and honorary degrees from seven colleges and universities.
He currently serves as member of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the CIA External Advisory Board, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Task Force on Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect on American Soil. At IUB, Hamilton is Professor of Practice in the School for Public and Environmental Affairs, Distinguished Scholar in the School of Global and International Studies, and Co-Chair for IU's International Engagement Advisory Board.