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R. James Woolsey

Chairman of FDD's Leadership Council, Fmr. Director of the CIA

Areas of Impact:

Arab Spring, Somalia, Missile Defense, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, Iraq, Al Qaeda, Intelligence Community, Energy Security

Biography:

R. James Woolsey is a Venture Partner with Lux Capital Management. He also Chairs FDD's Leadership Council of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Mr. Woolsey currently chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Washington, D.C. private equity fund, Paladin Capital Group, chairs the Advisory Board of the Opportunities Development Group, and he is Of Counsel to the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston-based law firm, Goodwin Procter. In the above capacities he specializes in a range of alternative energy and security issues.

 R. James Woolsey is a Venture Partner with Lux Capital Management. He also Chairs the Board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Mr. Woolsey currently chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Washington, D.C. private equity fund, Paladin Capital Group, chairs the Advisory Board of the Opportunities Development Group, and he is Of Counsel to the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston-based law firm, Goodwin Procter. In the above capacities he specializes in a range of alternative energy and security issues.

Mr. Woolsey previously served in the U.S. Government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations, most recently (1993-95) as Director of Central Intelligence. From July 2002 to March 2008 Mr. Woolsey was a Vice President and officer of Booz Allen Hamilton, and then a Venture Partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners of San Bruno, California until January 2011. He was also previously a partner at the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, DC, now Goodwin Procter, where he practiced for 22 years in the fields of civil litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

During his 12 years of government service, in addition to heading the CIA and the Intelligence Community, Mr. Woolsey was: Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Vienna, 1989–1991; Under Secretary of the Navy, 1977–1979; and General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, 1970–1973. He was also appointed by the President to serve on a part-time basis in Geneva, Switzerland, 1983–1986, as Delegate at Large to the U.S.–Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and Nuclear and Space Arms Talks (NST). As an officer in the U.S. Army, he was an adviser on the U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), Helsinki and Vienna, 1969–1970.

Mr. Woolsey serves on a range of government, corporate, and non-profit advisory boards and chairs several. He served on the National Commission on Energy Policy. Served as Chairman of the Advisory Boards of the Clean Fuels Foundation and the New Uses Council, and a Trustee of the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. Previously he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution, and a trustee of Stanford University. He has also been a member of The National Commission on Terrorism, 1999–2000; The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the U.S. (Rumsfeld Commission), 1998; The President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform, 1989; The President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), 1985–1986; and The President’s Commission on Strategic Forces (Scowcroft Commission), 1983.

Mr. Woolsey has served in the past as a member of boards of directors of a number of publicly and privately held companies, generally in fields related to technology and security, including Martin Marietta; British Aerospace, Inc.; Fairchild Industries; and Yurie Systems, Inc. In 2009, he was the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and in 2010-11 he was a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Mr. Woolsey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended Tulsa public schools, graduating from Tulsa Central High School. He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University (1963, With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), an M.A. from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar 1963–1965), and an LL.B from Yale Law School (1968, Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal).

Woolsey is a frequent contributor of articles to major publications, and from time to time gives public speeches and media interviews on the subjects of energy, foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence.

Read full bio

When Iran Goes Nuclear

2nd March 2015 – The Washington Times

When Iran Goes Nuclear

James Woolsey

Our attention these days with regard to security is understandably riveted on the Islamic State, or ISIS, and its hideous decapitations, rapes and live immolations. more...

Analysis & Commentary

29th June 2016 – CNN

New Day

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, James Woolsey

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Leadership Council Chairman Jim Woolsey discuss the coordinated terror attack at Ataturk Airport. more...

25th June 2016 – Fox News

America’s News HQ

James Woolsey

Chairman of FDD's Leadership Council Jim Woolsey comments on Brexit. more...

23rd June 2016 – The Wall Street Journal - Co-written by Chip Register

Defeating ISIS on the Digital Battlefield

James Woolsey

Clearly, the U.S. and its allies can and should meet Islamic State on the battlefield, whether in Syria or Iraq. But the war with the ISIS “virtual state”—those the terrorist organization inspires over the internet, like Omar Mateen in Orlando—will be much harder to fight and will go on long after ISIS ground forces are driven into mountains and caves. more...

13th June 2016 – Fox News

America’s Newsroom

James Woolsey

Chairman of FDD's Leadership Council James Woolsey critiques the president's policies after Orlando nightclub shooting. more...