THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF LES ASPIN AS MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE PRESIDENT'S FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY BOARD
The President today announced the appointment of Les Aspin as member and Chair of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Les Aspin has long been at the center of U. S. national security policy making. Most recently, as Secretary of Defense, he initiated a fundamental reexamination of US military requirements in light of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. This Bottom Up Review, as it was called, involved the uniformed military in an unprecedented collaboration to determine the right defense for America. Mr. Aspin's formulation of the dangers America faces in this new era remains the most thorough, comprehensive guide to defense requirements available.
Before joining President Clinton's cabinet, he served as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, a position he held since 1985. Mr. Aspin was first elected to Congress in 1970.
Mr. Aspin began his career on the staff of former Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire and moved on to the White House as staff assistant to Walter Heller, Chairman of President Kennedy's Council of Economic Advisors. Mr. Aspin was commissioned in the Army under ROTC in 1966. Over the next two years, he served at the Pentagon as one of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's "whiz kids." In 1968, Mr. Aspin returned to Milwaukee to teach economics at Marquette University.
Mr. Aspin was born on July 21, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended public grade school and public high school. Mr. Aspin graduated summa cum laude from Yale University. He majored in history where he received "Honors with Exceptional Distinction" and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Aspin earned a Masters degree from Oxford University for a combined major in economics, politics, and philosophy. He completed a Ph.D in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.