Jim Leach

Jim Leach

“Jim Leach is University of Iowa Chair in Public Affairs and Visiting Professor of Law and Senior Scholar.”

Leach previously served as the 9th Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to being nominated by President Obama for the post, Leach was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.

Before rejoining the Princeton faculty, Leach served for a year as the Interim Director of the Institute of Politics and Lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Leach’s brief stint in academia was preceded by 30 years of service as a representative in Congress where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Legislation Leach authored spanned the gamut from creation of an international AID’s Trust Fund to debt relief for the world’s poorest countries; from authorization of an IMF quota increase to making the Peace Corps an independent federal agency; from requiring the federal government to use soy ink to prohibiting Internet gambling; from comprehensive banking reform to redressing certain Holocaust asset losses.

After attending Princeton, the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins, and the London School of Economics, Leach entered the United States Foreign Service and served as a delegate to the Geneva Disarmament Conference and the U.N. General Assembly. In 1973, Leach resigned his commission in protest of the Saturday Night Massacre when Richard Nixon fired his Attorney General, Eliot Richardson, and the independent counsel investigating the Watergate break-in, Archibald Cox.

After returning to Iowa to head a family business, Leach was elected in 1976 to Congress where he came to be a leader of a small band of moderate Republicans. He chaired two national organizations dedicated to moderate Republican causes – the Ripon Society and the Republican Mainstream Committee. He also served as president of the largest international association of legislators – Parliamentarians for Global Action.

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