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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Arthur J. Holland Program on Ethics in Government

2008-2009 Holland Lecture

The 2009 Holland Lecture,  " Obama's First Ten Weeks: Leadership, Governance and Ethics," was delivered by former Congressman James A. Leach, who represented Iowa from 1976-2006.

A transcript of his talk is available here.

Leach speaking

2009 Holland Program lecturer and former Congressman James A. Leach discusses "Obama's First 10 Weeks: Leadership, Governance and Ethics" at the Eagleton Institute of Politics.


group with Leach
Members of the Holland family attended the lecture. Pictured (L to R):
Eagleton director Ruth B. Mandel, Cynthia Holland, Betty Holland-George
(Eagleton Fellow '56), Congressman Jim Leach, Matthew Holland
(Eagleton Fellow '94), Daniel George, and Eagleton associate director
John Weingart. Not pictured: Christopher, Elise and Timothy Holland.

Graduate student Simon A.Burger, 2008-09 recipient of the Holland Ethics Award, visits with Congressman Leach during the post-talk reception.

Short Bio of Congressman Leach
    James A. Leach is the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.  Earlier he served as interim director of the Institute of Politics and lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 
     Leach represented Iowa for 30 years in Congress, where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
     After attending Princeton, the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins, and the London School of Economics, Leach entered the United States Foreign Service.  In 1973, he resigned in protest of President Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”  After returning to Iowa to head a family business, Leach was elected in 1976 to Congress.  He chaired two national organizations dedicated to moderate Republican causes – the Ripon Society and the Republican Mainstream Committee. Serving 18 years in the minority and 12 in the majority, Leach was never comfortable with the partisan confrontations that increasingly came to characterize Congress.  He concentrated on issues rather than what he described as the game of politics.  
    In the 2008 Presidential election Leach served as a national leader of Republicans for Obama, for whom he gave a prime time speech at the Democratic National Convention.
    Leach serves on the board of two public companies (Alliant Energy and United Fire and Casualty Company) and a series of non-profit organizations, including the Century Foundation of which he is vice-chairman, and Common Cause, which he chairs. 
    Leach has received eight honorary degrees and decorations from two foreign governments.  He is the recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, the Woodrow Wilson Award from Johns Hopkins, the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, the Edger Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club, the Norman Borlaug Award for Public Service, and the Wesley Award for Service to Humanity.