Skip to main content
Support
Article

Statement from Wilson Center President, Director and CEO Jane Harman

 Jane Harman image
Woodrow Wilson Center Memorial Hallway
Woodrow Wilson Center Memorial Hallway

The recent insurrection carried out by a mob against the U.S. Capitol, inspired by false claims of a stolen election, were a sickening attack on our democracy. I have lived and worked in Washington a long time--including 22 years as a Senate aide and as a Member of Congress – and I have always seen the Capitol building as hallowed ground. To see it invaded and defaced, and to see my friends and former colleagues put in harm’s way, was frankly inconceivable.

But it happened, and all of us have a responsibility to learn the lessons of these recent events and make this city and our country better. I was first inspired to get into politics when I attended the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, my hometown, and served as an usher at John F. Kennedy's inspirational acceptance speech at the LA Coliseum. At his inauguration, he said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This was the right question then and it is the right question now.

Our country and our world need us now – and need the Wilson Center now. As a part of our Diversity and Inclusion effort, the Wilson Center will help rebuild confidence and unity and community in our nation. Despite the increasingly partisan and divisive nature of our national discourse, we will remain staunchly committed to the nonpartisan pursuit of facts and the clear-eyed analysis of world events. And we will keep our staff and scholars safe, supported, and empowered to succeed.

We have a lot of work to do. I commit myself to do my part, both at the Wilson Center and beyond, to heal the wounds of this nation and chart a stronger and more united future for the country I love.

Jane Harman
Director, President, and CEO

About the Author

 Jane Harman image

Jane Harman

Director, President, and CEO, Wilson Center

Jane Harman, the Director, President, and CEO of the Wilson Center, is an internationally recognized authority on U.S. and global security issues, foreign relations and lawmaking. A native of Los Angeles and a public-school graduate, she went on to become a nine-term member of Congress, serving decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives. Drawing upon a career that has included service as President Carter’s Secretary of the Cabinet and hundreds of diplomatic missions to foreign countries, Harman holds posts on nearly a dozen governmental and non-governmental advisory boards and commissions.

Read More