Lee H. Hamilton, Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on Congress and representative democracy.
Hamilton represented Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years, establishing himself as a leading figure on foreign policy, intelligence, and national security. In the years since he left public office in 1999, he has continued to play a leading role in public affairs.
He served as Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission. He co-chaired the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that assessed the situation in Iraq and in 2006 made recommendations on U.S. policy there. Until recently, he served as Co-Chair of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with General Brent Scowcroft.
Among his published works are two books on the legislative branch—How Congress Works and Why You Should Care and Strengthening Congress. He writes twice-monthly commentaries about Congress and what individuals can do to make representative democracy work better. A leader in the growing national movement to expand and improve civic education, he serves as a Co-Chairman of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.
Hamilton was born in 1931 in Daytona Beach, Fla. His family relocated to Tennessee and then Evansville, Ind. He graduated from DePauw University and Indiana University School of Law. A former high school and college basketball star, he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. Before his 1964 election to Congress, he practiced law in Chicago and Columbus, Ind. He was married to Nancy Ann Hamilton for 58 years until her death in 2012. They have three children and five grandchildren.