WASHINGTON, D.C.— Wilson Center Director Lee H. Hamilton has been selected to serve as vice chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks by Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt. Hamilton replaces former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who stepped aside citing time constraints. The other Democratic commissioners will be Senator Max Cleland, Representative Tim Roemer, Richard Ben-Veniste, and Jaime Gorelick.

Hamilton served more than three decades in the House of Representatives, where he was Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on International Relations and Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Hamilton also chaired the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. As director of the Wilson Center, he continues to be a prominent figure in national security debates in Washington. Hamilton is a member of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council and is a widely respected and judicious leader whose advice is sought by Democrats and Republicans alike.

In accepting the nomination, Hamilton said, "It is both a great honor and tremendous responsibility to serve as Vice Chair of this Commission. What happened to our nation on September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten. This Commission presents an important opportunity to conduct a thorough, fair and non-partisan investigation to help ensure the safety and security of the American people. I appreciate the confidence Senator Daschle and Representative Gephardt have expressed in me, and while I regret that Senator Mitchell will be unable to serve, I hope to bring the same commitment that he would have brought."

In announcing the appointments, Senator Daschle said, "For over a year, our nation has struggled to heal from the attacks of September 11, 2001. The goal of this commission is to learn from them, and I have no doubt that these appointees will allow us to do just that."

Representative Gephardt said, "There is no more important task than investigating the events related to 9/11 and making sure these kinds of events never happen again. I can think of no individuals better suited to work on this project than the people we have announced today."

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and world affairs.