Gerald R. Ford Administration Alumni
56th Secretary of State: September 22, 1973 – January 20, 1977
8th U.S. National Security Advisor: January 20, 1969 – November 3, 1975
Upon taking office, President Ford asked Secretary Kissinger to remain as his Secretary of State and as his National Security Adviser.
Dr. Kissinger has a long list of accomplishments in his career. He played a dominant role in U.S. foreign policy from 1969 until 1977. During that time, he extended the policy of détente which led to a significant relaxation in U.S.-Soviet tensions and played a crucial role in the 1971 talks with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. The talks concluded with a rapprochement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and the formation of a new strategic anti-Soviet Sino-American alignment. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for helping to establish a ceasefire and withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
Prior to serving in government Kissinger was on the faculty of Harvard University in the Department of Government and at the Center for International Affairs. Outside of academia, he served as a consultant on foreign affairs to numerous government agencies and private organizations.
After leaving the administration, he returned to consulting on foreign affairs. Numerous Presidents and world leaders have called on Dr. Kissinger to provide his insights and expertise. He sits on the board of numerous companies and organization, both in the public and private sector.
Dr. Kissinger has won a number of distinguished awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President Ford in 1977.
63rd Secretary of the Treasury: May 8, 1974 – January 20, 1977
William E. Simon was first appointed Secretary of the Treasury in May of 1974, and was re-appointed by President Ford in August of that same year. Simon was also asked to serve as the first Administrator of the Federal Energy Office, which would later become the U.S. Department of Energy. In 1975, President Ford named him Chairman of the newly created East-West Foreign Trade Board.
After leaving government, Simon returned to the business world. He served on numerous boards, as well as the President of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Philanthropy and public service were important parts of his life until his passing in 2000.
James R. Schlesinger
12th Secretary of Defense: July 2, 1973 – November 19, 1975
Schlesinger saw a need in the post-Vietnam era to restore the morale and prestige of the military services; modernize strategic doctrine and programs; step up research and development.
Prior to joining the Ford administration, Schlesinger also served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Dr. Schlesinger was selected by President Carter to serve as the 1st Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1977 to 1979.
After serving in three administrations, Schlesinger returned to his business career. He has also served on the board of numerous companies and organizations, both public and private.
Donald H. Rumsfeld
6th Chief of Staff: August 9, 1974 – November 19, 1975
13th Secretary of Defense: November 20, 1975 – January 20, 1977
Donald Rumsfeld was appointed by President Ford in 1975 as the youngest Secretary of Defense to date. In 1974, Rumsfeld was asked to serve as transition chairman for President Ford. He also served as White House Chief of Staff from 1974 to 1975.
Rumsfeld was awarded the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.
Prior to joining the administration he served three terms in the House of Representatives from Illinois from 1962 to 1969. He also held numerous appointments in the Nixon administration, including U.S. Ambassador to NATO.
After serving President Ford he returned to business, as well as serving on the board of a number of companies and public and private organizations.
Rumsfeld once again served as Secretary of Defense as the 21st Secretary under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006.
William B. Saxbe
70th Attorney General: January 4, 1974 – February 2, 1975
11th Ambassador to India: February 3, 1975 – November 20, 1976
Saxbe was an accomplished politician prior to serving in the Ford administration. He was the U.S. Senator from the state of Ohio from 1969 until 1974. He served as Ohio’s Attorney General from 1963 to 1969. While still in law school, he ran for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1947 and won. A year later at the end of his second term, he received a law degree. He went on to serve as the Ohio House majority leader in 1951 and 1952 and as Speaker of the House in 1953 and 1954.
President Nixon first appointed him Attorney General. President Ford would later call on him to serve as U.S. Ambassador to India. After leaving the administration, he returned to the practice of law.
William Saxbe passed away in 2010.
Edward H. Levi
71st Attorney General of the United States: February 7, 1975 – January 20, 1977
When President Ford appointed Edward H. Levi in 1975 he was the first Jewish Attorney General of the United States.
In prior administrations Levi was a member of the White House Central Group on Domestic Affairs, the White House Task Force on Education and the President’s Task Force on Priorities in Higher Education. He served as the president of the University of Chicago from 1968 until his appointment as Attorney General.
After leaving office he returned to teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. He passed away in March 7, 2000.
Rogers C. B. Morton
39th Secretary of the Interior: January 29, 1971 – April 30, 1975
22nd Secretary of Commerce: May 1, 1975 – February 2, 1976
Counselor to the President: February 3, 1976 – April 1976
Rogers C. B. Morton was first appointed Secretary of the Interior in 1971, and re-appointed by President Ford in 1974. In 1975, the President Morton to serve as the Secretary of Commerce. Morton stepped down as Secretary and served briefly as Counselor to the President in 1976. He left the White House to serve as Chairman of the President Ford Committee, and later as the chairman of the campaign steering committee.
Prior to joining the administration Morton was a successful businessman. He also served 4 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland’s 1st district) from 1963-1971.
Rogers Morton passed away in 1979.
Stanley K. Hathaway
40th Secretary of Interior: June 12, 1975 – October 9, 1975
Hathaway was elected governor of Wyoming in 1966 and was re-elected by a large margin again in 1970. He only served as the Secretary of Interior for a short while. He was forced to resign due to health reasons.
After serving in the administration, Hathaway returned to practice of law. He sat on the board of numerous companies and organizations. The state of Wyoming set up a scholarship program in his name, which allows high school graduates who qualify to receive the full cost of tuition and fees at the University of Wyoming or for any community college in Wyoming.. The Hathaway Student Scholarship Endowment Account was named after Hathaway’s contributions to higher education and pushing for Wyoming’s first mineral severance tax, which would go on to fund many of the State’s operations.
Hathaway was a decorated WWII veteran. He was assigned to the Eighth Air Force’s 401st Bomb Group, flying B-17 Bombers, taking part in 35 combat missions over France and Germany. As a pilot he received the French Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) awarded to those who performed heroic deeds in combat, as well as U.S. Presidential Unit Citations, and five Air Medals.
Governor Hathaway passed away in 2005
Thomas S. Kleppe
41st Secretary of the Interior: October 17, 1975 – January 20, 1977
Former Congressman, Thomas S. Kleppe was chosen by President Ford to serve as Secretary of the Interior in 1975.
Kleppe served in congress with then Congressman Gerald Ford, as well as with George H.W. Bush. He served as a member of congress from North Dakota’s 2nd District from 1967-71. In the prior administration he served as administrator of the Small Business Administration from 1971-75.
After leaving government Kleppe joined the faculty at the University of Wyoming.
Thomas Kleppe passed away in 2007. President George H. W. Bush served as an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.
Earl L. Butz
18th Secretary of the Department of Agriculture: December 2, 1971 – October 4, 1976
While serving as Secretary, Butz was instrumental in revolutionizing many federal agricultural policies and re-engineering many New Deal era farm programs. Upon leaving the administration, he returned to Purdue University where he was named dean emeritus of Purdue University’s School of Agriculture.
At his death in 2008, Butz was the oldest living former Cabinet member from any administration at age 98.
John A. Knebel
19th Secretary of the Department of Agriculture: November 4, 1976 – January 20, 1977
Knebel, a graduate of West Point also served as General Counsel and Under Secretary at USDA prior to President Ford’s appointment to serve as Secretary. He also served as general counsel to the Small Business Administration during the prior administration.
After leaving government, Knebel returned to the practice of law, as well as serving as president of the American Mining Congress.
Frederick B. Dent
21st Secretary of Commerce: February 2, 1973 – March 26, 1975
5th U.S. Trade Representative: March 1975 – January 20, 1977
Dent was first chosen by President Nixon to serve as Secretary of Commerce. President Ford reappointed him as Secretary and then later as his U.S. Trade Representative.
After his service in the administration, he returned to the textile business as the president and later chairman of Mayfair Mills. Dent also served on the board of numerous companies and organizations.
Frederick Dent was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1994
Elliot L. Richardson
23rd Secretary of Commerce: February 2, 1976 – January 20, 1977
United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s (United Kingdom) from 1975 – 1976
Elliot Richardson was an accomplished lawyer, politician and diplomat.
Richardson is the only individual in U.S. history to serve in four Cabinet positions. Prior to joining the Ford administration he served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, as well as Under Secretary of State. He also served as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts and was later elected that state’s Lt. Governor and Attorney General.
After government service, Richardson returned to the practice of law.
Mr. Richardson passed away in 1999.
Peter J. Brennan
13th Secretary of Labor: February 2, 1973 – March 26, 1975
Brennan helped Congress pass legislation, which helped protect worker pensions, improved enforcement of occupational safety and health laws, improved benefits for workers left jobless by changes in international trade and expanded the workplace rights of the disabled
Prior to his service as Secretary of Labor Brennan served as president of both the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York. He returned to the union position after leaving the administration.
Mr. Brennan passed away in 1996.
John T. Dunlop
14th Secretary of Labor: March 18, 1975 – January 31, 1976
As the Secretary of Labor, Dunlop stressed a strong collective bargaining system, which led to improving cooperation between all of the federal labor agencies and the private sector. He also used President Ford’s Labor-Management Advisory Committee for policy development.
After serving in the administration, Dunlap returned to Harvard University where he taught from 1938 until his retirement as Lamont University Professor in 1984. While at Harvard, he was Chairman of the Economics Department, as well as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Dunlop passed away in 2003.
W. J. Ursery, Jr.
15th Secretary of Labor: February 10, 1976 – January 20, 1977
As Secretary, Ursery used his talents for mediation to avert a number of strikes and helped to resolve a number of others. He also served as the Assistant Secretary of Labor Management Relations in the prior administration.
After leaving public service, Usery founded Bill Usery Associates, Inc., a labor relations consulting firm, which was involved in a number of major labor disputes.
During his career, Usery received five appointments, by both Republican and Democratic and presidents, to serve the national interest in resolving significant labor-management disputes.
Caspar W. Weinberger
10th Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare: February 12, 1976 – January 20, 1977
Prior to serving as Secretary, Weinberger was Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the prior administration. Weinberger went on to become the 15th Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1987.
After the administration he became publisher of Forbes and later chairman. Weinberger was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987. He also received an honorary British knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.
Mr. Weinberger passed away in 2006.
F. David Mathews
11th Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare: August 8, 11975 – January 20, 1977
As Secretary, Mathews worked on restoring public confidence in government and reforming the regulatory system.
Prior to serving as Secretary, Mathews was president of the University of Alabama from 1969 to 1975 and then returned to the University from 1977 to 1980. At age 33, Mathews was the University’s youngest president.
Mr. Mathews went on to serve as president and chief executive officer of the Kettering Foundation, a not-for-profit research foundation. He also serves on the board of a variety of organizations, as well the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.
James T. Lynn
4th Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development: February 2, 1973 – February 5, 1975
22nd Director of The White House Office of Management and Budget: February 10, 1975 – January 20, 1977
Lynn helped create a community development and housing program that consolidated and improved existing federal subsidies for low and moderate income families. He was also responsible for outlawing racial and sexual discrimination in the way the federal funding was disbursed.
Upon leaving HUD, Lynn became director of the Office of Management and Budget until the end of the administration.
After leaving the administration, Lynn returned to a successful business career. He served as general counsel for the Republican National Committee in 1979, as well as serving on the board of a variety of businesses and commissions.
Mr. Lynn passed away in 2010.
Carla Andersen Hills
5th Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development: March 10, 1975 – January 20, 1977
Hills became the third woman in U.S. history to hold a cabinet position.
President Ford also placed Hills on the short list of contenders to fill the vacancy of Justice William O. Douglas on the Supreme Court.
Hills returned to the practice of law after the administration. She has served on the board of a variety of companies and organizations, as well as holding positions at a number of top educational institutions. She is a trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.
Hills later served as the 10th U.S. Trade Representative under President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1993.
Claude S. Brinegar
3rd Secretary of Transportation: February 2, 1973 – February 1, 1975
As Secretary, Brinegar helped finance mass transit, restructure railroads in the Northeast and institute a national 55-mile-an-hour speed limit. He advised Americans frustrated by long lines at the gas pump to consider the ethic of energy conservation through the lower speed limits.
After the serving in the administration, Brinegar returned to the Union Oil Company where is served as Senior Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Dr. Brinegar passed away in 2009.
William T. Coleman, Jr.
4th Secretary of Transportation: March 7, 1975 – January 20, 1977
During his tenure as Secretary, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s automobile test facility commenced operations. The department also established the Materials Transportation Bureau to address pipeline safety and the safe shipment of hazardous materials.
Coleman was the first American of Color to clerk the U.S. Supreme Court and his brief in Brown v. Board of Education was instrumental in rendering racial segregation unconstitutional in public schools.
After serving in the administration, Coleman returned to the practice of law. He has served on the board of numerous companies, organizations and commissions. Coleman was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996.
Coleman served as an Honorary Pallbearer during the state funeral of Gerald Ford in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Washington, D.C.