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Warren Christopher reactions and commentary

STANFORD -- Warren Christopher, President-elect Clinton's choice for secretary of state, is a 1949 graduate of Stanford Law School and former president of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

While in law school he co-founded Stanford Law Review and was its first president.

In 1985, he received the school's Alumni/ae Award of Merit, given annually to a graduate who has distinguished himself or herself in public service.

Christopher was a university trustee for three terms, totaling 15 years: 1972-1977, 1981-86 and 1986-1991. He was president of the Board from July 1, 1985 to June 30, 1988.

Christopher currently is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of Stanford Law School.

Here are some reactions to his nomination as secretary of state:

George Shultz, former Secretary of State, now Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford; phone: (415) 725-3492.

"Congratulations to Warren Christopher and to the United States on his appointment as Secretary of State. He has the skill and intellect to represent us well and the character to represent us faithfully. I salute him and wish him every success."

Samuel D. Thurman, professor at Stanford Law School when Christopher was a student, later dean of the University of Utah School of Law and a professor at Hastings College of Law; phone: (80l) 582-8024.

"Chris is clearly one of Stanford Law School's all-time greats. I recall him as an outstanding student in the large returning classes after World War II, as president of the first Stanford Law Review, as a law clerk to Justice Douglas of the U.S. Supreme Court, as a holder of important subcabinet positions during the Carter years, among many other positions of importance.

"Chris has the rare ability to make tough, unbiased decisions in the midst of turmoil, where his advice has often been sought. He is not a yes man; I'm not surprised that he has already become one of the president-elect's most trusted advisers."

J. Keith Mann, fellow U.S. Supreme Court clerk (for Justices Rutledge and Minton) when Christopher was clerking for Justice William O. Douglas, later associate dean for academic affairs, Stanford Law School, and now a professor emeritus; phone: (415) 723-4523.

"Christopher is a man whose talent is marked by intellectual power, a capacity for original insights, and a taste for balanced judgments. People listen to him because they find in him the virtues of courage, character and tough-mindedness. He's the kind of man you would want to run a river with - absolutely unflappable."

Paul Brest, dean of Stanford Law School, for which Christopher is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council; phone: (415) 723-4455.

"Warren Christopher has a distinguished record of public service. At the same time, he understands and has been a success in the private sector. There is no one whose advice I value more. The American people are fortunate to have him in this important, policy-making position."

Benjamin Parkinson Jr., partner with the San Francisco law firm of Ackerman, Johnston, Campbell & Parkinson; student body president and law school classmate of Christopher's, as well as fellow member of the first volume of Stanford Law Review; phone: (415) 777-3999.

"Everything Chris has done has been very successful, and I expect a brilliant career for him at State."

Donald Kennedy, former president of Stanford University, 1980-92 (during which time Christopher served as president of the Board of Trustees); now president emeritus and Bing Professor of Environmental Studies; phone: (415) 725-2745.

"I cannot imagine any single event that would make me more confident about the capacity of our country to play a constructive role in world affairs."

Richard W. Lyman, former president of Stanford University, 1970- 80 (during which time Christopher served his first term on the Board of Trustees), and an expert in international affairs; phone: (415) 725-1497.

"I welcome the appointment of Warren Christopher as Secretary of State. The picture sometimes drawn of him these days - the quintessential Washington insider and all that - is totally inadequate as a measure of the man. He is wise, fair, self-disciplined, tremendously well informed, and experienced in a number of worlds beyond Washington. We can all sleep well with him at State."

John Freidenrich, current chair of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and a 1963 Stanford law graduate; general partner of Bay Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm; phone: (408) 725-2444.

"It's a wonderful appointment, and I think everyone at Stanford who knows Chris is absolutely thrilled that he's going to be the next Secretary of State. His contributions on our Board both as a member and a chairman have been outstanding. We've always looked to him for leadership. He is very thoughtful and has tremendous leadership skills."

Rodney Kennedy Minott, former State Department colleague; served as ambassador to Sweden (1977-80), now a senior research fellow, emeritus, Hoover Institution, Stanford; and acting chair of the Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey; phone: (408) 656-2521; (408) 373-5009.

"It's a marvelous appointment, because he's very well known to the heads of state of all foreign countries, which President Clinton is not. This is immensely reassuring to a lot of people - Chris is definitely a known quantity. In foreign affairs, this means that the Clinton administration can hit the ground running."

David A. Hamburg, former Stanford professor of human biology (1972-76) and before that professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of Stanford University Medical School (1961-72), now president of the Carnegie Corporation (1983-), for which Christopher is a current member of the board of trustees; phone: (212) 371-3200.

"Warren Christopher is a very rare and special person. He has made a superb contribution in leadership of the Stanford University and Carnegie Corporation boards - as in many other settings. Without a doubt, he is highly intelligent, richly informed on world affairs, and utterly trustworthy. He is deeply committed to humane, democratic values, open-minded problem solving, and painstakingly fair. Moreover, his style is low key, highly professional, self- effacing, and very effective in dealing with tough problems. He is a person of complete integrity. Altogether, I believe that he will become one of America's great Secretaries of State."


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