OPENING STATEMENT OF|
DR. WILLIAM B. BADER OF NEW JERSEY
AT HIS HEARING FOR NOMINATION AS
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. INFORMATION AGENCY
BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1998
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee:
I am honored to appear before you as the Presidentís nominee to serve as Associate Director of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency.
It is with a great deal of pride -- and no little nervousness -- that I return to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. These chambers where I first appeared in 1965 to present my credentials to Senators Fulbright and Hickenlooper are so much a part of my coming of age. I welcome with a sense of awe and appreciation the opportunity to serve in and strengthen the very programs in international education and culture that led me to this Committee, and into a life dedicated to the creative connection between education, scholarship, and cultures beyond our national borders.
Now, some thirty years after first appearing before the Committee, I do so again. This time I am presenting my credentials for a position that carries the enormous responsibility of fostering the spirit and executing the intentions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act and broadly speaking, for working with Joe Duffey and others at USIA to keep public diplomacy in the forefront of American foreign policy. I believe, and hope that the Committee will agree by endorsing my nomination, that my experience in international education and business which began so breathlessly as a young, eager, and internationally-untutored member of the first Fulbright contingent to the war-devastated Germany of 1953 will provide the right combination of skills, experience, and sound judgment necessary to lead publicly supported international educational and cultural programs into the challenging and exciting world of the 21st century.
I want now to record for the Committee some of the lessons -- principles, if you will -- I learned along the international pathway; lessons I believe relevant to the responsible and prudent management of those public diplomacy programs that, should the Committee so decide, will be my charge:
From the Fulbright experience and other extended expeditions abroad to study, write, research and listen, I learned that international exchange programs do work; they do open doors to sights and sounds that change your life and redefine our thinking. The experience can make you a better scholar, a better person, and a better citizen. Bravo for the Members of Congress from Fulbright, Mundt, Smith and Hays, to those of you on this Committee today, who understand that international learning and listening are not dangerous concepts, as the old Communists believed, but liberating.
From my ten years with SRI-International (formerly the Stanford Research Institute), I learned that international education, training, and experience contribute to dynamic, innovative and profitable American business. I also learned that managing and leading international activities undertaken by individuals of diverse skills, backgrounds, and aspirations is a major challenge -- and a satisfying and exciting one as well.
From my three years as the first president of the Eurasia Foundation I learned that managing a small grants program for the NIS built largely on public monies took not only a strong international background but also prudence and a well-defined appreciation of the meaning of public trust. It also helped to have a dedicated professional like Bill Frenzel as the Chairman of your Board! From Bill I learned -- or worked hard at learning -- how to balance the requirements of public trust with creativity, with taking risks, and with having fun.
From my teachers and mentors in the academic world -- notably Joseph Strayer, Gordon Craig, and Cy Black -- I learned that academic excellence and intellectual integrity can be incorporated successfully and creatively into the field of public service. But these mentors also stressed that I must continue to teach, write, and publish. They wisely knew that to recognize and support high intellectual standards you must practice them. Indeed, the rigors of good scholarship and sound leadership demand a broad perspective, intellectual discipline, and the courage to create and share knowledge with others.
Finally, and most importantly, I learned from the Committee that with a license to exercise power drawn from the people of this country and their elected representatives comes a special and immutable responsibility to carry out the intent and to honor the spirit of a national legislative mandate. It is a responsibility that I would accept with both honor and humility, and one which I would pursue with vigor.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, you have drawn my pledge and my commitment, should you endorse my nomination, to carry these lessons -- these principles -- into the practice of directing the educational and cultural exchange program of the United States. Should the Committee decide to approve my nomination, be assured that I will work closely -- and I trust well -- with all of you to carry out this great responsibility. Thank you.