Secretary R. James Nicholson New Open World Chair
WASHINGTON, DC — The Board of Trustees of the Open World Leadership Center, voted unanimously to elect Secretary R. James “Jim” Nicholson as its new Chairman, replacing Walter Scott, Sr.
Secretary Nicholson brings extraordinary experience in diplomacy, management, politics and community service to Open World. He served as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. Pope John Paul II knighted him for his leadership on human rights issues. He was also chairman of the Federal Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Secretary Nicholson was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997-2001. As Chairman of the Committee, he set records for fundraising, and in 2000 presided over winning the Presidency and majorities in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, state houses and state legislatures.
The Open World Leadership Center is a legislative branch agency and supports outreach of members of Congress to their counterparts and rising leaders from abroad. It has introduced more than 24,000 current and future decision makers from Eurasia and other countries to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. It conducts exchanges that establish lasting professional relationships between the up-and-coming leaders and Americans dedicated to showcasing U.S. values and democratic institutions. The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999.
Under the chairmanship of Omaha businessman, Walter Scott, Jr., who retired as chair Feb. 9, the Center expanded its exchange program for legislators and other emerging leaders in all of the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as House Democracy Partnership participating nations. Scott oversaw the establishment of the Young Professionals Advisory Committee of the Center in order to promote the participation of influential leaders under the age of 30.
The Board, comprised of the chairs of both the U.S. Senate and House Subcommittees on Legislative Appropriations, plus two members of the Senate, two of the House, four members from the private sector, and the Librarian of Congress, oversees the administration of the Center and its Open World program.
Upon his election to Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Open World Leadership Center, Sec. Nicholson, who is Senior Counsel at the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, stated: “It is a real honor to Chair the Board of an organization committed to bringing young leaders from throughout eastern Europe and other parts of the world to the United States of America, and allowing them to witness first-hand the redeeming values of the American model of self-governance: personal freedom, personal responsibility, and the opportunity to get involved at every level without fear of reprisal”.