Thomas S. Foley

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Former Speaker of the House (1989-1995) and U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1997-2001) Thomas S. Foley (Thomas Stephen Foley) has been chairman of the North American Group of the Trilateral Commission since May 2001. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[1][2] On the Board of Governors for the Partnership for Public Service.

Foley has returned to Washington, D.C., as a Partner in the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he had been a Partner for two years before his appointment to Tokyo in 1997.[3]

Foley (D-WA) represented the State of Washington's Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1965-95 and served as the Majority Leader from 1987 until his election as Speaker on June 6, 1989. He served as the Majority Whip (1981-1987), the number three position in the House Leadership. He also served as Chairman of both the House Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Study Group. Foley served as a member of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs; the Committee on Agriculture (Chairman 1975-80); and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.[4]

While Majority Leader, Foley served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Budget, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. He was also Chairman of the House Geneva Arms Talks Observer Team. Foley served as Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1995-1997).[5]

Foley was born March 26, 1929, in Spokane, Spokane County, Washington. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and its School of Law. Prior to his election to Congress, he served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Washington and earlier as deputy prosecutor for Spokane County. He also served on the staff of the Senate Interior Committee as Special Counsel to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson. He is an Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire and has been awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is also a member of the French Legion of Honor; in 1995 was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Paulownia Flowers.[6] Foley is a member of the Continuity of Government Commission, (American Enterprise Institute/Brookings Institute).[7][8]

The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service was established at Washington State University to honor Tom Foley's more than 30 years of public service to both state and nation and as the 49th Speaker of the House of Representatives.