Wilson Center Experts
Jane Harman resigned from Congress February 28, 2011 to join the Woodrow Wilson Center as its first female Director, President and CEO.
Representing the aerospace center of California during nine terms in Congress, she served on all the major security committees: six years on Armed Services, eight years on Intelligence and four on Homeland Security. She has made numerous Congressional fact-finding missions to hotspots around the world including North Korea, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Guantanamo Bay to assess threats against the U.S.
During her long public career, she has been recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues. Harman received the Defense Department Medal for Distinguished Service in 1998, the CIA Seal Medal in 2007, and the CIA Director’s Award and the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2011. She is a member of the Defense Policy Board, State Department Foreign Policy Board, CIA External Advisory Board, the Director of National Intelligence’s Senior Advisory Group, and is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and the University of Southern California. In 2012, she was named one of the 50 most influential democrats on foreign policy by Foreign Policy magazine.
A product of Los Angeles public schools, Harman is a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Harvard Law School. Prior to serving in Congress, she was a top aide in the United States Senate, Deputy Cabinet Secretary to President Jimmy Carter, Special Counsel to the Department of Defense, and in private law practice.
Married for over three decades to Sidney Harman, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Harman International Industries and Chairman of Newsweek magazine, she has four adult children and four grandchildren. Sidney Harman died in April 2011, and she has assumed his seat on the board of directors at the Newsweek Daily Beast Co.
Jane Harman Receives the Private Sector Council Leadership Award on April 25, 2006.