The Cable

Former Congressman Jim Marshall to head USIP

Former Congressman Jim Marshall will be the next president of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the organization is set to announce today.

"It is with great pleasure and strong confidence that we appoint Jim Marshall to be the fourth president of the United States Institute of Peace," said J. Robinson West, chairman of the board of directors, in a Monday press release, obtained in advance by The Cable. "Jim brings a rich, diverse background to the Institute that the Board found very attractive. As a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Jim has experienced firsthand the dire consequences of violent conflict. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he carefully navigated a course through the choppy waters of partisanship to build a solid record of bi-partisanship."

Marshall, a Democrat, represented Georgia's 8th district from 2002-2011. A son and grandson of Army generals, he was a highly decorated Army Ranger in the Vietnam war. In Congress, he was a member of the "Blue Dog" group of fiscally conservative Democrats.

West said that Marshall will also be able to call upon his time as a professor at Mercer University and lecturer at Princeton in his new role, which will include leading USIP's Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding.

"I am humbled, honored and pleased to join a talented and committed team whose mission is critically important to the United States and the world," Marshall said in the release. "My thanks to the Institute's board for this opportunity. And my thanks to the Institute's great staff for all they have done in the past and what we will do together in the future."

Marshall takes over for Richard Solomon, who has been USIP president for 19 years. Board Vice Chairman George Moose led the search for the new president.

"I am extremely pleased that the Institute's Board of Directors has selected former Congressman Jim Marshall as the next president of the United States Institute of Peace," said Solomon.  "He has an impressive record of public service at several levels of government, including four terms in Congress, as well as an outstanding record of service in the U.S. Army. He has the experience and vision to build on the Institute's foundations of three decades of programmatic work in international conflict management and peacebuilding."

Solomon also alluded to Marshall's main challenge as president, defending USIP's federally funded budget from efforts to slash it by the GOP in Congress.

"These activities are a recognized contribution to the national security needs of our country, especially in building civilian capacity for conflict management and developing partnerships that are so critical, especially in constrained economic times," Solomon said.

Marshall begins his first 3-year renewable term role Sept. 14.

The Cable

Where are they today?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Political Affairs Tara Sonenshine, and Ambassador-At-Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby will also attend the conference of 20,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries. With the theme of "Turning the Tide Together," AIDS 2012 aims to increase global awareness through convening a group of scientific experts, community leaders, and policy leaders.

Elsewhere:

  • Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller is in Vienna for discussions with counterparts about strengthening conventional arms control in Europe.
  • Assistant Secretary for International Organizations Affairs Esther Brimmer is in Paris through July 27 for consultations with counterparts from the P5 members of the U.N. Security Council.
  • Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis is in Russia through July 31 to promote U.S.-Russia dialogue and engagement.