International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Ambassador Thomas S. Foley was the North American Chairman of the Trilateral Commission and a Partner in the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Akin, Gump, Mr. Foley represented Eastern Washington State's Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1965 to 1995. He served as the Democratic Leader from 1987 until his election as Speaker on June 6, 1989. From 1981 to 1987, he served as the Democratic Whip, the number three position in the House Leadership. He is also former Chairman of both the House Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Study Group. During his years in Congress, Mr. Foley was a member of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs; the Committee on Agriculture, where he served as Chairman from 1975 to 1980; and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. As Democratic Leader, Mr. Foley served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Budget. After serving in Congress, he was appointed by President Clinton in 1995 as Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. In 1997 President Clinton nominated Mr. Foley to be the 26th United States Ambassador to Japan where he served until April 2001. Since returning to the United States, Mr. Foley has served on a number of corporate and government advisory boards and boards of directors, including the Special Commission to Investigate Security Procedures of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He currently serves on the Department of Defense Policy Board and the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. Mr. Foley is a native of Spokane, Washington, and a graduate of the University of Washington and its School of Law. Prior to his election to Congress, he served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Washington and earlier as deputy prosecutor for Spokane County. He also served on the staff of the Senate Interior Committee as Special Counsel to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson. Mr. Foley is an Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire. He has been awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is a member of the French Legion of Honor. In 1995 he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Paulownia Flowers, by the Government of Japan. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.