William Howard Taft IV

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William Howard Taft IV has served as legal advisor to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell since March 2001 and is a member of the prominent Taft family.

Taft was nominated February 17, 1981, by President Ronald Reagan to be General Counsel of the Department of Defense.

Speech Dated February 17, 1981, Ronald Reagan Library at the University of Texas:

The President today announced his intention to nominate William Howard Taft IV to be General Counsel, Department of Defense. Mr. Taft is an attorney with the firm of Leva, Hawes, Symington, Martin and Oppenheimer of Washington, D.C.
Prior to January 1977, Mr. Taft worked for 7 years with the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
In April 1976 Mr. Taft was appointed by the President to serve as General Counsel of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. As such, he was the chief lawyer for the Department and the principal administrator of the Office of the General Counsel, which consisted of approximately 350 lawyers in Washington and 10 regional offices.
Prior to his appointment as General Counsel, Mr. Taft served 3 years as the executive assistant to the Secretary of HEW. From 1970 to 1973, he was the principal assistant to Caspar W. Weinberger, who was Deputy Director, then Director, of the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Taft assisted him in the management of the budgetary process, policy review, and program oversight for the entire Federal Government.
Mr. Taft served briefly as attorney adviser to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission in 1970.
A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Taft earned his Ph. D. in English from Yale University in 1966 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1969.
He is married and has three children. Mr. Taft resides in Lorton, Va., with his family. He was born in Washington, D.C., on September 13, 1945.